‘Here comes the sun’

It is encouraging to hear that a large field of solar panels to produce electricity is being planned in our area.

If you missed it, Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, Va., intends to build a field of utility grade solar panels on 1,500 acres in rural East and West Keating townships in northwest ClintonCounty to produce 330 megawatts of electricity.

Any investment to produce energy without the use of carbon, we’re in favor of.

It is cleaner … cleaner for all of us and cleaner for the environment.

The site is not visible from any local road and includes 16 affected parcels in East and West Keating townships comprising 3,232 acres, all owned by the Forney and Mary Winner Trust. The developer has a long term rental agreement with the Trust.

The solar field will be separated into six or seven plots of panels connected by utility corridors comprising 46 percent of the total area.

A 10-acre site will contain the power plant.

The Clinton County Zoning Hearing Board has unanimously approved a special exception for the project, which should produce about 100 construction jobs.

The power would be sold to Penelec.

Penelec is Pennsylvania Energy Co., a part of First Energy Corp.

Penelec provides power to 600,000 customers in Pennsylvania.

The property in question here also is home to a smaller-scale natural gas liquification plant, and is proposed to house a natural gas synthesis plant to capture and store carbon dioxide from underground natural gas.

We must become more reliant on renewable energy – clean energy such as natural gas, solar and wind – that come from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished.

We are not talking about eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, only finding ways to reduce our reliance on their use.

Solar energy reduces air pollution, reduces water use, reduces our dependence on oil and gasoline. It’s better for our health. It fights climate change.

It’s a win-win.


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