Destroying landscapes to accommodate solar

The article, “State to consider reopening door for proposed Killingly natural gas plant,” (Feb. 14), reported that several environmental groups were opposed to a new 650 megawatt-hour, natural gas fired plant, in part because the proposed site “… is adjacent to the 32-acre Dunn Preserve …”. Many environmentalists advocate substituting renewables such as photovoltaic solar arrays. 

The photovoltaic industry has proven that about six acres of solar panels, including their structural supports, maintenance pathways, power conduits, DC to AC inverters, security barriers, engineered provision for foundations and drainage can (after any tall vegetation is cleared from the site) generate about one megawatt of electricity per hour in sunshine. 

Statistics suggest that about 17 percent of the total hours in a New England year are sunny. 

Multiplying our six-acre rule-of-thumb by the inverse of 17 percent indicates that, to produce the electricity equivalent to a 650 megawatt-hour gas-fired generator operating day and night, rain and shine, throughout the year, would require a solar facility footprint of about 23,000 acres (36 square miles). 

Clearly, if you willfully choose to politically protect 32 acres while physically bulldozing 23,000 acres, you might be called an environmentalist, but then again, you might not. 

Lou Palone



Loading comments...
Hide Comments

Stories that may interest you

Investigate plot to bring down a president

The next two years may be two of the most fascinating in American history. Consider news reports that various top government figures appear to be involved in a conspiracy to remove a president from office through illegal means. There is truly an historic investigation, after a two-year...

Don't let complaining left suppress speech

It seems the liberals among us are becoming increasingly fragile, triggered by anything that isn't bracketed into their ideological views. The free exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of the First Amendment, but to the garden variety leftist this only seems to apply if those exchanges are...

Keep diversity of opinions on Day's pages

Me thinks the snowflakes protest too much! The Day should keep Lee Elci and a wider variety of other voices to have a diversity of opinion in its newspaper. The Day's editorial board is so reliably against any common sense financial or social conservatism that some sort of counterweight is...

Enjoys Elci and puzzles in The Day but not much else

As someone who finds this newspaper as vile as much of today’s journalism unfortunately is, I nonetheless continue to spend (way too much) money purchasing it. It is good to know one’s enemy. The articles contain obvious programming in what The Day wants readers to think and...