North East Township is currently putting together an ordinance to deal with solar power installations. The impetus for the ordinance is the increasing interest in solar with two projects now being considered. A 5 MW community solar farm is being planned along Crawford Road and Rte 89 and is the nearest to getting the go ahead.
Another project about the same size as the one being considered here, a 5.2 Megawatt community solar farm in Nebraska, was just totally destroyed by a hail storm. One day it’s working, the next day it’s not. Although hail of this magnitude is not common, it’s certainly something to keep in mind, not only when writing an ordinance, but also when considering whether to invest in and build solar installations like this in the first place. How many millions of dollars were lost in a matter of minutes? How many of those were taxpayer dollars from solar subsidies?
Has a coal-fired, natural gas or nuclear power plant ever been destroyed by hail? If reliable electricity is what you want, it’s a question worth asking, especially when you consider how hard Pennsylvania is pushing renewable energy as well as shutting down coal plants, not to mention how many power outages we’ve had in North East recently.
Always on, reliable electricity is what we want, right?