Letter to the editor: Utility-scale solar needed

To the editor:

The League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County supports the development of utility-scale solar energy in Douglas County. Utility-scale solar is urgently needed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

The Lawrence-Douglas County LWV is conducting a multiyear study to develop League policies to promote renewable energy and energy conservation. We support the utility-scale solar Kansas Sky Energy Project, which is under consideration by the Douglas County Planning Commission.

Some have criticized the Kansas Sky Energy Project because they feel area land should only be used for agriculture. The proposed project includes dual land use, for solar energy generation and for agricultural uses (agrivoltaics). The project’s Vegetative & Agrivoltaics Management Plan includes a variety of vegetation and soil improvements, including pollinator habitat. Importantly, there are willing landowners already contracted for this project.

Some have criticized utility-scale solar in Douglas County because they don’t want such an installation in their backyard. The elephant we currently have in our collective backyard is a coal-fired power plant. Utility-scale solar is nonpolluting, generates tax revenue and does not require water or the mining and burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity that will go directly into the current energy grid.

We encourage the Douglas County Planning Commission to recommend the utility-scale solar Kansas Sky Energy Project to the Douglas County Commission. The Kansas Sky Energy Project will be considered at the December meeting of the Planning Commission.

Carol Williamson,

president, League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County


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