DEEP should still make fixing the puzzle of siting enormous scale photo voltaic a priority

Mark Mühlhaus :: Windwärts Energie GmbH

We examine the CT Viewpoints commentary “No web loss!’ Don’t’ reduce down forests to construct photo voltaic sites” published on Dec. 1 with interest. We right here at Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group committed to protecting the entire waters of Connecticut, despatched a letter to the branch of power and Environmental insurance plan (DEEP) inquiring for that Commissioner Katie Scharf Dykes impose a moratorium on photo voltaic building on agricultural and forested land except adequate guidelines for siting are centered.

Petition 1425 to which Ms. Langhorne and Ms. Hoffman voiced opposition illuminates the flaws in our existing system of siting big scale photo voltaic. Environmental coverage demands that we find a stability between competing materials. after we agree with a renewable power akin to significant-scale photo voltaic, we deserve to stability the price of discount in greenhouse gasses with carbon storage/sequestration and different eco-equipment services of soil and wooded area elements. We need to examine an financial mannequin for photo voltaic that takes all of the externalities under consideration.

The Governor’s Council on local weather change (GC3) is leading a brand new, daring effort that builds on our mitigation goals to cut back greenhouse fuel emissions and create a clear power future for our state. It also acknowledges that we are already experiencing affects from climate exchange and the importance of adaption planning for a resilient future. moreover, the GC3 recognizes the significance of the ecosystem services offered by means of our agricultural lands and forests for mitigation and adaptation, anything that old local weather exchange planning in Connecticut did not believe.

at the same time, our established meeting and Public Utilities Regulatory agency are each conducting hearings involving the resiliency of our utilities and our current electric grid. it’s identified that we need each centralized and disbursed generation to build a contemporary grid with the resiliency vital to adapt to local weather change. present guidelines reward utilities and their stakeholders for significant scale development initiatives effortlessly guidance utilities faraway from dispensed generation.

Given the variety of applications for gigantic scale photo voltaic at present earlier than the Siting Council, Rivers Alliance has requested that DEEP to place a moratorium on enormous scale solar on agricultural land and core forests until the Siting Council reviews the suggestions from the GC3 and, in coordination with DEEP, adopts new necessities for evaluate. In 2017, a invoice turned into enacted to protect major farmland and core forests. It is obvious, although, that we are nonetheless losing farm and forestland to solar building at an alarming rate. The GC3 working companies have identified vital ecosystem services offered via our herbal and working lands that are not addressed with the aid of the legislation and don’t seem to be being regarded with the aid of DEEP or the Siting Council.

one other important aspect ought to be taken into consideration is environmental justice. We should look at policies that discourage and preclude bringing allotted generation and its many benefits together with web metering to those that need it most and have been discriminated in opposition t in our infrastructure guidelines. Make no mistake about it, here’s a count of social and racial equity.

The department of energy and Environmental protection need to undertake policies and procedural alterations that balance conflicts between gigantic-scale solar, agricultural lands and core forests, in addition to social and racial equity.

Alicia Charamut is govt Director of  the Rivers Alliance of Connecticut.

CTViewpoints welcomes rebuttal or opposing views to this and all its commentaries. examine our instructions and put up your commentary right here.