Letter: Solar’s attraction
I read with great enthusiasm Richie Davis’ Dec. 18 article titled “Greener Pastures,” about exciting solar energy partnerships in our North Quabbin region. Then, I read with some sadness the Jan. 7 piece describing the objection of abutters who are quoted as referring to the project as “… corporate ruination of our rural, residential neighborhoods …”
This perception makes no sense to me, and in fact seems like it completely misses what I see as community strengthening about this project. The partnership forged by the efforts of local residents who created Pequiog Energy to help bring renewable energy to our communities is a great model. From what I understand, the projects unite two local well established farms with deep roots in the region, Hunts Farm and Adams Farm, with nonprofit organizations: the YMCA and Athol Memorial Hospital, and the municipalities of Athol, Warwick and Petersham which will benefit from clean, lower cost energy. The partnerships demonstrate the potential for renewable energy on non-tillable land while contributing significantly to the energy savings of small communities. This is … amazing! I may get a little more excited about renewable energy than the average consumer, given that our own experience living with solar energy has brought our family great power in many ways, but when I drive by the solar arrays on Hunts and Adams land and other sites in our region, I see beauty and I feel pride. Whereas, I do not find the crisscross of inefficient grid wires along streets and many hillsides at all attractive. If we are not producing our energy locally, someone else’s lives and communities are deeply affected, be it from coal mining, oil spills, or nuclear contamination. I commend this innovative renewable energy partnership and am proud that our North Quabbin region can serve as a model to others.