As a participating landowner and longtime resident of southern Culpeper County, the group opposing the proposed Cricket Solar LLC project disappoints me.

Distorted facts have been put out about the project.

The project does not include a significant amount of prime farmland, and will result in minimal impact to the county’s agriculture production.

Most of the forestland is already cut-over timber, waiting to be replanted or sold. This cut-over land is already eroding from this year’s rainfall, and runoff from it may contain anything sprayed to kill regrowth.

No impact to real estate near solar fields can be proven, anywhere.

Any surrounding historical sites may be more protected than harmed by this solar project. These properties are privately owned, and provide very little access to tourism. Most traffic on Algonquin Trail is farm-related.

We do not need a moratorium on solar projects.

The Cricket Solar project has been revised to appease the concerns of county decision-makers and neighbors and to accommodate concerns from historical groups.

There are not 500 pages of new information in Cricket Solar’s current application, just 500 pages with some changes.

Rooftop solar is great, but all the rooftops that exist cannot produce enough electricity to cover all the needs of industry.

Nuclear power has its issues, too, especially when it comes to uranium mining, transporting uranium, disposing of nuclear waste, and decommissioning the nuclear plants.

I grew up on a farm in Fauquier County that was crisscrossed by a natural-gas pipeline and an electric line with two monster towers. My family learned the meaning of the words “eminent domain,” the same as the farmers who lost their land to Lake Anna and Smith Mountain lakes.

All this for different sources of energy. The viewshed from our family home was not protected, but life went on.

The Cricket Solar project does not involve eminent domain. We want to be part of this. No, we will not make a lot of money, but enough money to keep farming. We believe in solar energy as part of the “big picture” for a sustainable energy plan for our country.

All over the world, countries are including solar as a piece of the solution to the fossil-fuel dilemma, and so should we.

Stop taking away the rights of landowners, and let us choose the best use for our private land.

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Olive Forrest

Culpeper

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