Home » A Druid's Blog » A Druid’s Web Log – Reflections on Solar Energy – October 2018

A Druid’s Web Log – Reflections on Solar Energy – October 2018

The Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt found at https://www.facebook.com/stoanabichl/

After the Fall Equinox the days are quickly growing darker and the Wild Hunt has already made an appearance in these parts. Last week a huge Oak tree toppled into the road in a massive wind storm, taking electrical and phone wires with it. Just a taste of the season to come.

For those who have been following this blog, here is an update on the solar drama ongoing in my town. As most of you know, we are in a struggle with a large land owner who has decided that logging and tax breaks are not bringing her enough profit. Now she wants to clear cut forests to put in solar arrays, including on a steeply graded slope behind a neighborhood of houses. The area already has flooding issues due to run off.

At the last meeting of the Planning Board we learned that the wildlife impact study had not been done yet and that there were multiple problems with the hydrology study. Also, there were different numbers given for storm water run off on different pages, which did not inspire confidence. A town resident who happens to be a professional hydrologist said a 23% increase in rainfall is to be expected due to global warming and a 53% increase in run off is to be anticipated – grass simply does not hold back water the way mature trees do, especially on a steep slope. The area already experiences street flooding due to run off and with the added run off basements will flood.

Other water issues are that the run off will make its way into a local brook and then into the town aquifer and into private wells. Studies are not yet conclusive about what kinds of chemicals leach from solar panels as they crack and thaw in freezing weather. It is also not clear who will investigate if there are fish kills downstream, to see if the solar panels are the source.

We learned that local archaeology has not yet been addressed – this is an area with Native American burials and sacred rock configurations. The impact of heavy trucks going back and forth on local roads has not been calculated, and the view shed analysis has not been done (that means how the project will affect the way the neighborhood looks and what the neighbors will be forced to look at). The project might be less visible in summer but in winter when there are no leaves it could become a real eyesore.

We found out that after the project is finished it will get flipped to institutional investors, banks and hedge funds. These entities are unlikely to care much about the happiness of local town residents because their main goal is maximum profit. It’s not yet clear who is liable if the project fails for some reason, or massive damage results from a design flaw, an electrical fire or other calamity. The solar company said that in the event of a disaster the land would be “put back the way it was” but that’s impossible. A forest would take generations to re-create.

The solar company said they will be pulling stumps which will kill off the mycorrhizal network in the soil.

We still don’t know if the solar companies will reimburse local home owners for the loss in value of their houses due to loss of view, flooding, and the presence of high tension wires. Nor do we know if the electrical grid is even wired to accept the electricity being produced.

The sad fact is that most of us favor solar energy but the state is barreling ahead with no laws in place, just suggestions about where to site the panels. We know that large scale solar projects (there are four proposed for our town, two are 50 and 60 acres each!) create urban heat island effects, worsening global warming. We also know that the best way to mitigate climate disaster is to plant more trees to hold carbon, not cut them down. The loss of forests is contributing to the loss of species and humans who live in or near forests are healthier than those who don’t.

No forest should be taken down for a solar farm until every other possibility has been exhausted; old landfills, disturbed areas, municipal roof tops, home roof tops and parking lots should be exploited as places to construct solar arrays. Heck, a law could even be written to mandate that all new buildings have to have solar panels (along with a secondary energy back up system).

Here are some pictures of run off resulting from clear cutting in a nearby town (photos by Sarah Kohler)

Stay tuned for further updates as this tragedy unfolds. The same thing is happening in many towns, here is an article about a similar situation in another town nearby.

FLU SEASON APPROACHES

A reminder. Flu season is approaching and the change of season is when many folks take sick, often because they forget to put on a sweater or jacket. You need to protect your lungs!

BOOK NEWS

 

EVENTS AND APPEARANCES

  • October 13 – April 2019
    Intro to Herbalism and Self Care~ A Six Month Intensive
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    Western Materia Medica, Chinese 5 Element Theory,
    Flower Essence Counseling, Formula making, Hands on Herbalism,
    Ethnobotany, Herb walks, Homeopathic First Aid, Live case taking and more.
  • Sunday, October 21, 2018
    Celebrate Samhain!
    Courtyard Marriott Nashua, 2200 Southwood Drive
    Nashua, New Hampshire 03063
    Directions
  • Saturday, November 10th
    6pm to 8 pm
    An evening with Author, Druid and Herbalist, Ellen Evert Hopman
    A discussion and presentation of her newest book, The Real Witches of New England.
    Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium, 19 Sheafe Street, Portsmouth, NH – 603-619-6946
    $20 pp – Space is very limited. Tickets go on sale September 1st, 2018.
    Facebook event page

*Below you will find the usual round up of the past Moonth’s archaeology, herb, climate, nature, religion, Fairy, Celtic, politics and ethics news. And a reminder – you can purchase signed copies of my books from this web page*  Enjoy!

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

GODDESS NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

ARTS NEWS

Politics and Ethics

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