The town of Hartland has the opportunity to be a leader in renewable energy. The future is to harness the energy that is available to us every day from the sun. Many of our homes and barns already are surrounded by solar power, in landscaping, security lights and solar phone chargers.
Our children are growing up with the concept of the need for renewable energy. Scientists from around the world tell us that the present energy producers, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, have contributed to harmful greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.
As farmers we see the change in climate. Locally we see more extreme weather patterns and nationally places like California are seeing their vineyards, farmland and neighborhoods burn to the ground. We owe it to the next generation to actively do our part to move into sustainable clean energy.
The people of Hartland have this opportunity. Our neighbor, Bob Confer, in his op-ed raised the question, “Who will clean up solar energy’s legacy” This question was answered at an Oct. 28 public meeting on the project. Ridge View Solar Energy will put money in escrow to the town of Harland to cover the cost of decommissioning the facility. This security is required by New York State and is posted before operations begin. The project can not receive permission to operate without this commitment to cover decommissioning costs.
This project will also bring in $1 million in new revenues to the towns of Hartland and Newfane, Niagara County and associated school districts each year. Our rural communities are losing population and small farms are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet. Harvesting the sun is just another way that landowners can contribute to their communities by providing sustainable energy.
OSCAR AND MELINDA VIZCARRAoperators, Becker Farms, Gasport