Virginia, Scott Sklar, Dave Walsh discussed on All Things Considered
Slovenia county Virginia and you'll see forests and farms and civil war battlefields. Then you come upon a stately brick wall. With the words fawn lake a gated community with a private lake and a golf course you can say over here. Dave Walsh, moved here to retire. We drive down a cul de sac and look through the trees behind an unbuilt lot. All that area is clear cut. We're solar panels are going to be and it's on a hill. There's no way you can disguise that one corner of the massive project would but up against the back of this gated community Walsh and others at lake say, they support solar in theory. But not here, it's not in keeping with the type of setting that people. But houses here, you know, they wanted to be out in the woods. Essentially opponents have a long list of arguments against the project. They say it's too big half the size of Manhattan, they say will hurt property values. And they say the supposedly green technology is actually bad for the environment causing trees to be clear cut. They've been packing into public hearings by the hundreds testifying late into the night. Greg Ben is on the county board of supervisors representing the area. The opposition took him by surprise. My initial reaction was this is going to be the easiest decision. I'd ever make the solar plant would pay millions and county taxes, but us virtually no county services, no schools. No, teachers, no, fire trucks, and the Amazon says no police cars, no traffic on the road. I mean, how how much easier can get a private developer called s power is behind the solar project. Most of the energy would be sold to Microsoft to power. It's enormous cloud data centers in Virginia. This is the start. This is the harbinger of a real maturing industry. Now, Scott Sklar is a sustainable energy professor at George Washington University. And he's been involved in solar since the nineteen seventies. He says solar is growing so quickly on the east coast conflicts like those in spots Vania will only become more frequent I understand concern. But you really have to look at the bigger picture here that if you do not. Not move in this pathway, fast and ambitiously you're going to have way more problems than having some gleaming, solar panels. He's talking about climate change. Scientists say there's just a decade or so to drastically reduce emissions in order to prevent some of the worst impacts of global warming. But many solar opponents spots Lavinia are skeptical and they've taken their case to national audiences on Fox News host Sean Hannity linked the project in Virginia to a big climate proposal by Democrats in congress. What really happens when a green new deal project comes to a neighborhood near you. The fate of the solar farm is still uncertain Virginia's already approved it. Now, it's up to the county board of supervisors for NPR news. I'm Jacob fenced-in..