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LETTER: Summerland residents should decide on solar initiative

Many countries have already set up solar installations

Dear Editor:

The controversy that has engaged a few people in Summerland as to whether we should go ahead with the planned solar farm or not, needs to be decided, not by a few negative letters to newspapers, but by the taxpaying residents of Summerland as a whole.

If we go by the numbers presented by Coun. Richard Barkwill, we would be foolish to go ahead with the farm. If we go by the many solar farms that have been built through the world, there seems to be a rationale for going solar.

READ ALSO: LETTER: Majority of Summerland councillors supported solar project

READ ALSO: LETTER: Summerland solar project will create greenhouse gases

Why would so many countries, the United States, Australia, China, and Europe install solar farms if they can’t be justified?

Presently there are 42,000 installations in the United States; 13,000 in Australia alone; 23,000 in Europe and 14,000 in South America. From an environmental standpoint, solar has offset 38 billion tons of carbon worldwide. This would be up in the atmosphere contributing to the warming of the planet, which only coal and fossil fuel producers would deny is happening.

I have 16 panels on my garage roof and I only wish I could afford more. Over the past three years my panels stopped an additional 15 tons of CO2 from going into the air.

While the sun shines, they reduce the amount of energy I need from Fortis. During the summer, Fortis even gives me a credit towards my utility bill.

I expect my panels to have paid for themselves in about six or seven years, and even if I’m not around, they will continue to make it worthwhile in property resale value.

Everybody in Summerland should have a vote. Why would the people who are against the solar farm be against having a plebiscite on the issue?

Frank Martens


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