Many in Van Zandt County are not okay with a proposed solar plant coming to their community. In late January, they met with Pattern Energy, The company planning the farm. Emotions were still mixed.
“I’ve seen some solar farms and they’re pretty big and they’re kind of scary looking,” said Chuck Boyette, a Van Zandt County resident.
“If you want to make a profit, you’d want to put these panels in West Texas where there’s more sun, the land’s cheaper on top of it all, and there are less people to complain,” said Thomas Rhines, another resident.
“I really haven’t decided whether I’m with these guys or against them, because there is a few questions I need some answers for,” said Tony Al-flias, another resident.
“I think it would be an excellent thing for the community, for the country, and I look very forward to seeing this plant be put into operation,” Greg Caudell, another resident.
Just this month, David Dunagan who is spearheading the movement took the issue to Austin.
“Very happy to see that there are quite a few bills in the Texas Congress right now to kind of help with our situation,” said Dunagan.
If passed, Bill 1610 would help ease their concerns about the longevity of the project and the safety of the land.
“Which literally requires these solar companies when they come in to put the money in up front to decommission these facilities when they’re done,” said Dunagan.
Although the bills won’t pass in time to help folks in Van Zandt County, they don’t plan to stop fighting.
“Our group of those surrounding citizens involved is probably close to 1500 people at the moment and we are currently raising funds because it looks like this is probably going to be a situation that ends up moving to the courts,” said Dunagan.
The small community says they will win this battle one way or another.