Are solar farms damaging our economy?
Like most Clay County residents concerned about an issue, I complain to my wife and friends. Last night, however I expressed my thoughts to the Economic Development Council at their meeting. My understanding of this group’s purpose is to bring new business and employment to Clay County.
Home building is the base of all economy, especially in Clay County where there is not much other industry. Note our recession.
However, before bringing in new industry, a good business model is first to take care of what is already there, the base of the economy, ie, home building. Natural beauty sells this county. Passers-by, whether on Highway 64 or Highway 69, cannot miss the roadside solar farms. Visitors often ask why there seem to be so many here. North Carolina offers tax benefits to investors for solar energy and the electric company has one of the higher payouts for solar power.
Anyone moving here has no protection from a neighbor who might destroy their mountain or lake view with a solar farm. The only other choice is to go elsewhere. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot?
Based on my personal observation of a Nichols Construction sign on property cleared near the Deerfield Inn and on another sign there with topsoil for sale, I asked the commission if they knew anything about the plans for that property.