Unintended negative environmental impacts of state solar tax incentives

This short letter to the editor from Ron and LuAnn Benoit of West Brookfield highlights a key aspect of what we’re experiencing with the various current and potential large-scale industrial solar developments in Belchertown. The Benoit’s letter is from March 2018, written to urge residents and town leadership in their town, our near neighbor, West Brookfield, MA to consider the environmental hazards of a proposed 40+ acre industrial solar project on route 67 in West Brookfield before giving it the green light.

“Solar energy is an important part of our future but the unintended results of the way it is being incentivized through state tax credits can have negative environmental impacts.”

The large-scale industrial solar development proposal being brought forth in Belchertown by Cowls Inc and BlueWave Corp. is not a one-time thing. Proposals like this are going to be a trend, and already are a trend locally (West Brookfield, Ware, Orange, North Amherst). We need to plan so we can both support responsible solar developments and protect the environmental resources which are our common wealth.