Money, meet mouth
I had to shake my head while reading Richard Schmidt’s letter (March 2) regarding the “decline of the Carrizo Plain.”
Mr. Schmidt, have you ever been there? The Carrizo Plain National Monument is miles from the proposed sites of the solar plants. You make it sound as though the solar plants will be in the middle of the monument.
Nothing has changed at the monument or preserve in the 30 years I have been visiting the area, other than increased traffic resulting from the monument designation.
You folks are always pushing for alternative energy, yet balk when asked to put your money where your mouth is. Instead, you want to force everybody to put solar panels on roofs not designed for it and at exorbitant cost.
I take great pride in the fact that my simple letter to the editor on Feb. 15th, 2007, brought a little attention to the proposed intrusion of the United Nations into our county and helped start a movement against it. Contrary to your belief, a United Nations designation would have been the downfall of our county, not “noteworthy recognition.”
Everybody should go see the monument for themselves, look at the proposed sites of the solar plants, and they will see that the solar plants and the monument can co-exist.
I hope the county has demanded money to be put in escrow for when the solar ranch is no longer financially viable. My research shows that solar panels last at most ten years, and who knows who will own the project then? Solar panels may have a limited warranty for 25 years, but after 36 months the warranty means little. The buyer must prove the panels were defective at the time of receipt, and the warranty only extends to the original buyer. Damage by wind and weather is not covered.
In time the final owners will abandon the rundown array of panels. If the developers don’t provide the funds to dismantle the project — guess who will be stuck with the cost.
Companies reap the benefits of their projects only to abandon the toxic soils, rundown apartments and industrial projects when they are no longer financially feasible.
The county must protect taxpayers against such irresponsible business practices.
Solar panel installers might contest my statements, but check how long they have sold panels and what protection a buyer gets against their going out of business in 25 years, let alone in the next.
Getting the picture
Jay Salter seems to think that the Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Nature Conservancy, North County Watch, California Department of Fish and Game and all the other groups and individuals who have pointed out serious environmental problems with the proposed Carrizo solar projects are all a bunch of “graying environmentalists” and elitists who just don’t get the big picture and understand that global warming is a threat. (“Old activists should not be elitists,” March 6).
I think we do. I think we also know that there are better and worse locations for large-scale renewable energy projects.
Susan Harvey, North County Watch