October 26th, 2020

Solar push needs common sense

By Letter to the Editor on November 26, 2019.

I’ve noticed a lack of local information or news items concerning what appears to be a plethora of solar panel farms popping up in Alberta, Canada and throughout the world. Southern Alberta is a prime target apparently for any entrepreneur willing to acquire land, funding and licences to construct one of these so-called farms.

What are the pros and cons of these land-devouring monstrosities? There was an article entitled “Hazards of Solar Farms” on the internet recently that was interesting. Just what is the other side of the “let’s promote green” theory?

Hundreds of acres of prairie grassland are on the verge of being raped in the name of green energy. What about the deer, owls, raptors, rattlesnakes, foxes, antelope and other creatures that call the Prairies home? What happens to the prairie grasses? It has even been a long time since I’ve heard the song of meadowlarks.

And then, what about the quality of life of those families living in the vicinity of these “farms”?

Medicine Hat recently pulled the plug on their multi-million-dollar attempt at going green. The returns were not worth the expense. A reason for abandoning their solar structure was lack of sufficient sunshine. The Hat gets more sunshine than any other area in the province.

I feel that common sense needs to prevail before any more of these so-called farms has the go-ahead for construction in any location in Alberta.

Norma Zobell


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George McCrea

Yeh and they also get the business tax reduction for whom the NDP shriek are “Jason Kenney’s rich friends”. I guess these companIes get the “Rachel Notley’s rich friends” deduction as well. Here is the other side of the electric vehicle alter. But who cares, when I can drive my Tesla around, virtue signalling just how environmentally (un) conscious I am.


Dennis Bremner

You can add these to the list of how wonderful Alt Energy is and how bad Oilsands are

The huggers of trees and planet savers wish you did not see this. It ruins a good story of lets Panic cuz were X,Y genners

Ok Boomer


First, Norma, you are talking about two technologies- concentrating solar in Medicine Hat, and photovoltaics everywhere else. Medicine Hat was an experiment.

The land use is an issue, but I know of none being sited on native grasslands (which are only 15% of the original expanse). If you are truly worried about ecosystems, look to industrial agriculture and climate change as your major causes.

And, finally, to our renewable energy critics, you seem to forget the long established pollution and land damage from coal fired electricity. Solar is much better, apples to apples.


Fescue, I am not an expert but have seen many of the different energy projects in Alberta. In my opinion, I don’t see how you can say solar is better (apples to apples) when making comparisons. Each type of energy project has it’s impacts. A coal plant produces much more energy in comparison to it’s footprint. Yes, emissions are a concern but this possibly could have had new technology developed to scrub those emissions if the government would have been interested. Now we have added a number of solar projects which further impact the lands. To have an equivalent energy production to a coal plant, a solar project would require many times more acres of land. This past year, the solar farm at Brooks had snow on them for many days. I am not sure if they blow off the panels or just wait for it to melt. I do know the gas gas well in the corner of the field would have still been producing energy. The footprint of the well is about 25 m2 versus the ~80 acres (~320,000 m2) of panels. Then in the summer, weeds were growing up onto the panels. Do they weed whip these or use chemical control. My guess is the latter and it would require a lot of glyphosate.
The solar collector in Medicine Hat was a +$13 million dollar white elephant experiment which I never believed would work while the politicians gloated about it. Now it sits as an eyesore. They could have drilled a few gas wells there for under $0.5 million and had a good supply of energy on a small footprint.


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