Concerning the solar project in Stuarts Draft, I wonder how many people know that none of the power will be available to the area.
Many people from outside Stuarts Draft are speaking in favor of the project but how many of them would want it next to their homes. If the 3,000 acres proposed was a single plat it would make more sense but it is scattered around on 24 different pieces of land.
One of the great things about solar is it is maintenance-free through the life of the panels, but that means no jobs come with it. The area as well as the residents would be better off with industry with long-term jobs as well as homes with people paying taxes and spending money which would support local business and promote business growth opportunities. Industry will bring jobs, more housing will equate to more money being spent and more opportunities for growth in all areas. They say there will be plenty of room for homes — but who wants to have a nice home in the middle of thousands of solar panels?
A solar farm would be counterproductive for any residential area unless they reap the rewards of power from it and it gives them jobs, although it is a moneymaker in this case for the landowner and the project owner. We are looking at 13 landowners and the project owner, WOW. The long-term cost to the county the land owner and the project owner is still to be known although it looks negative at best.
I am sure the project owner has iron-clad contract clauses to protect it, and my bet is it will sell the project not long after it is completed. This is a project that can affect Augusta County and its growth and its prosperity for many more than the 35-year deal with the land owners. This is one of those deals that helps few and hurts many. I urge the supervisors to say NO.
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