SAFE SOLAR, NOT ANTI-SOLAR
We are a group of concerned citizens with reservations about NextEra’s proposed 200-megawatt utility scale solar Grant County Solar Energy Center project in Potosi, WI.
We understand that there are many great advantages to solar energy, it is one of the key components of future energy generation as we move away from carbon based fuel sources.
However, the incredibly rapid expansion of solar energy generation and the near exponential increase in the size of solar facilities has outpaced research and data collection of the effects of such large installations. At the same time huge utility scale solar facilities, once almost solely constructed miles from inhabitants in desert locations, are beginning to surround homes and take over farms in the Midwest.
Ten years ago, there wasn’t a PV solar facility in the world the size of the one proposed for Grant County and as of 2016 the total solar capacity of all the installations combined in Wisconsin was only 30 megawatts.
Much of the information and research we currently have is from installations of less than 1 megawatt and while detectable most of the effects have been considered negligible or manageable because of the small scale of the installation. Our concern is that the proposed 200 megawatt facility could have profound and damaging effects on the health and safety of the people and environment of Grant County from not understanding how the effects change or increase with the size of the installation.
Our main concerns are thermal radiation (heat island effect) on surrounding properties, Lake effect on migratory birds in the Mississippi flyway, water runoff management during construction/operation, and release of heavy metals/toxins from damaged panels among others.
Goal:Ensure the safety we are promised.
- Allow the University of Wisconsin System and or other research institutions access to the Grant County Solar Energy Center for data collection and research.
- Involve said institutions in the planning phase to allow the collection of pre-construction control data.
- Allow researchers to place multiple meteorological and environmental monitoring stations on site.
- Allow researchers to determine location of data collection equipment within reason.
- Share data and research with the public to better understand the effect of large scale solar installations and improve future installations.
- Enact local ordinances similar to those in other states to protect residents from noise, light and heat pollution on their property.
Who to contact about the Grant County Solar Energy Center to request third party research be required onsite.
What We Know About the Proposed Grant County Solar Energy Center
- Located in Potosi and Harrison townships in Grant County, Wisconsin.
- 200 megawatt photovoltaic solar energy generating facility.
- Owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC which is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., with headquarters in Juno Beach, Florida
- Expected to begin commercial operation in late 2021.
- The pre-application file below has been submitted to the Public Service Commission, it has more detailed maps and shows changes to the proposed Grant County Solar Energy Center boundaries from the map above.
- Grant County Solar, LLC – Engineering Plan
- PSC Docket number for tracking the Grant County Solar LLC. project: 9804-CE-100
Click on the pictures below to read more.