August 20, 2013
To the editor:
In the Aug. 7 issue of this newspaper, the headline article read “McLaurin’s Energy Stance Praised.” Upon reading this article, I have to agree with our senator’s stance that there is need to find, use, harness, and protect energy sources that help our environment to be pollution-free and cost effective with regulations to protect and encourage them.
But, reading this article closely, there seems to me to be some fuzzy math here. Our senator states how this solar industry has created billions of dollars in our state’s economy and upwards of $19 million in in vestment into District 25, which includes Scotland County. The senator also states that over 15,000 jobs have been created in our state. Seems to be a rosy picture, doesn’t it?
Doing a little examining of this industry in our state and mostly in our county, there isn’t one job created in Scotland County. Now, let’s look a little closer to these farms. These solar panels, according to Strata Solar, are produced in China and not by a U.S. company and they are not helping the U.S. economy.
Checking with the Scotland County tax supervisor and from Strata Solar, these solar farms by state regulations are only taxed at 20 percent of its appraised value. That’s an 80 percent discount if my math teacher taught me correctly. So the wonderful effect this has on our economy seems to be fuzzy math. I can’t see the local workforce it produces and the added tax dollars to our local economy.
Now to add to Sen. McLaurin’s article is the question of the impact on communities and home owners. Strata Solar’s own representative had to use fuzzy data on these questions when questioned on this subject.
Open this solar farm issue up and examine it closely. It doesn’t seem to be “pie in the sky” to our economy. But I do believe this energy source is needful. I do feel there is a proper place to put them. Not on the main street, not someone’s front yard or around the neighborhood, but a place that will not impact lives and community growth.