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Email Archive

2024 Letter from Citizens for Responsible Solar

In 2023, there was the highest rejections of solar projects in United States. Solar industry and media attacks against our efforts only show that we’re effective and making a difference...View full email delivered January 30, 2024.

Capping solar acreage is growing

As solar applications increase, more rural communities are implementing acreage limits to preserve farm and forest land from development...View full email delivered October 26, 2023.

Solar future in limbo - Supervisors reject developer’s appeal in Fauquier

Another rural community rejects utility-scale solar on farmland.  Building a power plant on agricultural land is NOT "green."...View full email delivered October 4, 2023.

The Hypocrisy of Big Tech

Big Tech companies like Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft have renewable energy policies that harm rural communities.  The destruction of farm and timberland, the pollution of waterways and the targeting of poorer rural communities are NOT “green.”...View full email delivered September 27, 2023.

The Biden Administration Misleads the Public on the Vast Expanses of Land Needed for 'Net Zero'

Biden’s Net Zero goal would require utility-scale solar projects that cover the size of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined, and wind farms that span an area equal to that of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.  The land requirements are so immense and problematic that Net Zero is completely unworkable...View full email delivered September 15, 2023.

Culpeper Board voted to protect farmland from utility-scale solar.

The Culpeper Board denied a solar developer’s appeal to reverse a finding that its utility-scale solar plant was not in compliance with the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  Supervisors agreed to preserve farmland...View full email delivered August 9, 2023.

Ban of solar on rural and ag land is growing

The county unanimously voted to stop solar on rural or agricultural land. District 1 Commissioner Joseph Vigliotti said the board’s decision is not a question of solar power itself, but instead where it is built. Vigliotti said it makes sense to place solar panels on residential rooftops, and on land zoned for industrial use... View full email delivered July 20, 2023.

Smashed To Pieces - One Single Hailstorm Smashed a Hugh Solar Park to Pieces in Nebraska

This disaster underscores the vulnerability of solar energy projects. Utility-scale solar doesn’t belong on rural-agricultural land...View full email delivered July 13, 2023.

$135.5M awarded to couple for damages from polluted land, water in Georgia, neighboring an industrial-scale solar project.

About 1,000 acres of timberland, farmland and land that was previously used for recreational hunting and fishing was cleared at at "Lumpkin Solar," in Georgia — without installing adequate measures for erosion and sediment control. A neighboring property was impacted by polluted land and water by the solar company and its contractor....View full email delivered June 27, 2023.

BBC: Solar panels - an eco-disaster waiting to happen?

Energy experts are calling for urgent government action to prevent a looming global environmental disaster.

"By 2030, we think we're going to have four million tonnes [of scrap] - which is still manageable - but by 2050, we could end up with more than 200 million tonnes globally."

To put that into perspective, the world currently produces a total of 400 million tonnes of plastic every year...View full email delivered June 8, 2023.

Solar in southwest and central Virginia cited for environmental violations

More utility-scale solar developers in Virginia are being cited for environmental violations. Poor practices result in erosion and sedimentation, and muddy run-off from construction sites pollute waterways. Utility-scale solar does not belong on rural land...View full email delivered April 27, 2023.

WSJ: The Real Price of Wind and Solar

British households and businesses have seen their bills skyrocket by up to "230% over the past year." "Whenever the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining — which is often in northern Europe — the grid operator must rack up high fees buying emergency power from conventional generators." Renewables and subsidies are driving up energy costs for families...View full email delivered March 23, 2023.

Death of a Climate Bank

“More than 60 percent of community solar financing nationwide involved Silicon Valley Bank in some capacity, the bank claimed on its website."

The solar industry is only viable through bloated government subsidies - most recently provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. Now the leading U.S. bank providing debt financing to solar has collapsed. It is clear that the entire capital structure behind the renewable energy sector is a house of cards…and the first deck just fell...View full email delivered March 16, 2023.

Across the country, a big backlash to new renewables is mounting

“There is a big distinction between commercial farming and agriculture and the heavy industrial production of electricity,” as stated. “At no point in our history has it been OK for people to do whatever they want.” Rural communities have the right to reject the industrialization of farmland...View full email delivered March 2, 2023.

What is Responsible Solar? Innovative solutions exist.

Any serious conversation about the use of renewables should include incentives for solar on covered parking, commercial rooftops and along highways. The industrialization of rural-agricultural land used for farming and timberland is not green...View full email delivered February 23, 2023.

Solar Ordinance - Culpeper restricts solar to 300 acres.

After 4 years of pressure from citizens, Culpeper, VA finally adopted a solar ordinance. Progress was made by restricting the size of solar power plants to 300 acres, but the community is seeking stronger provisions that will add further protection to waterways, the environment and neighboring properties. Culpeper’s solar ordinance still allows solar power plants to be sited on agricultural land instead of industrial-zoned land where they belong...View full email delivered February 16, 2023.

Developers are not keeping their promises

Solar developers are not keeping their promises. Now Mecklenburg officials are struggling to find any recourse when the solar developer fails to provide adequate screening buffers, fails to produce the level of electricity claimed, and when the panels are visibly malfunctioning. Changes to their solar permitting policies are now being considered, including total acreage limits in the county, project size limits, limiting the acreage for panels, and limiting the density of projects in an area. Counties need to adopt strong solar ordinances to protect them from promises not kept… BEFORE it is too late...View full email delivered February 7, 2023.

Solar power plants should not be built in areas with abundant wetlands, waterways and fragile ecosystems, particularly those that are prone to excessive flooding. These solar power plants endanger the health and safety of the community by threatening neighboring farms and waterways with sediment pollution and stormwater runoff....View full email delivered February 2, 2023.

“These settlements send an important message to the site owners of solar farm projects that these facilities must be planned and built in compliance with all environmental laws, including those that prevent the discharge of sediment into local waters during construction.” EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield said in a statement.

“A lot of people don't realize that sediments, dirt that comes off our earth's surface and our construction sites when it comes in large quantities, is one of the most damaging types of pollutants into our river systems,” Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Ulseth said...View full email delivered January 31, 2022.

FOX NEWS covers Culpeper's recent battle to save thousands of acres of rural land, avoid an environmental disaster and pleas to not give into cash incentives.  This is the plight of rural communities across the U.S. trying to save our agricultural land...View full email delivered October 24, 2022.

Culpeper citizens are grateful to our county officials for denying the application for a third time. Maroon Solar’s application in Culpeper is an example of how a solar developer ignored county policy restrictions on utility-scale solar on agricultural land. Despite repeated defeats because of its size, Maroon Solar kept pushing a project that did not conform to the county’s policy and plans for the community...View full email delivered January 19, 2023.

“We’re going to change the character and characteristic of rural Virginia if this goes unchecked,” warned Martha Moore, senior vice president of governmental relations at the Virginia Farm Bureau...View full email delivered January 10, 2023.

Destroying rural-agricultural land will go down in history as nonsensical when there are innovative, reliable and balanced energy solutions available...View full email delivered October 27, 2022.

“This scene from the village council meeting in June helps to explain why opponents of three solar projects proposed in Pickaway County, Ohio, can say they have the support of nearly every local elected official. It shows how a committed group of local residents have dominated the debate by packing county, village and township meetings, and making their displeasure known if officials don’t fall into line.”...View full email delivered October 20, 2022.

Citizens for Responsible Solar's work mentioned in this NYT article "Motivated residents can scuttle projects, as happened last year when the Culpeper County board of supervisors nixed a proposed solar installation in central Virginia in response to citizen opposition."...View full email delivered September 29, 2022.

itizens for Responsible Solar co-hosted a townhall to discuss the impact of utility-scale solar, data centers and the required transmission lines on our rural landscape. To see the Piedmont Environmental Council’s presentation...View full email delivered September 12, 2022.

Susan contributes a local perspective to why local communities are opposing solar on rural-agricultural land. Why the U.S. is struggling to modernize the electric grid...View full email delivered August 26, 2022.

$4 million Culpeper siting deal

Solar developers are notorious for aggressive tactics. Culpeper citizens are not opposed to utility-scale solar, but it does not belong on rural-agricultural land. The Board of Supervisors already denied Maroon Solar’s application. Now they’re back and trying to bribe the county by doubling the siting agreement payment to $4M. The loss of timberland and our rural community isn’t worth the price....View full email delivered July 28, 2022.

Solar requires 10x the materials, and even more than that of minerals to deliver the same amount of energy as natural gas. If you care about the environment, then you’ll agree that utility-scale solar should be used responsibly with consideration of other energy sources and not on rural farmland....View full email delivered July 21, 2022.

Susan Ralston (Citizens for Responsible Solar), Kristopher Boushie (Responsible Renewable Energy), and Sean Fogarty (Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania), met virtually with Andrew Wheeler, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s senior advisor.  It was a productive first meeting to discuss rural communities in Virginia who are threatened by unwanted solar development on rural-agricultural land...View full email delivered May 26, 2022.

As stated, "In the U.S recycling rules are set by individual states" and it's important your county and citizens don't get stuck with a landslide of waste and the cost of recycling...View full email delivered May 19, 2022.

Agricultural land should not be rezoned for data centers or solar plants. Big Tech is fueling the destruction of rural-agricultural land through data centers and transmission lines...View full email delivered May 12, 2022.

Industrial development (data centers and utility-scale solar) belongs on industrial-zoned land, not rural-agricultural land. Proper zoning exists for a reason, and it's only fair that zoning be respected....View full email delivered May 10, 2022.

As quoted in the article: 

Virginia, like other states, has wide-ranging stormwater rules for new development because of the impact runoff from sites can have on erosion and water quality. On Friday, DEQ spokesperson Greg Bilyeu said in an email that the previous administration of Gov. Ralph Northam had “ignored existing stormwater management regulations” and that “in their efforts to prioritize solar project development, they ignored concerns that have continued to be raised by local officials and key stakeholders.

...View full email delivered April 19, 2022.

Read the latest example of industry's hardball tactics to force unwanted renewable projects on rural communities. In Madison County, Iowa, the renewable developer stands to collect about $81 million in federal tax credits. Despite the majority of citizens not wanting the project, there’s too much money at stake and elected officials have caved. “It doesn’t matter if they tear a county apart if there’s money involved.”...View full email delivered March 31, 2022.

Responsible solar would utilize commercial rooftops and covered parking lots for solar panels, instead of rural farm land. Leveraging the full rooftop solar potential of superstores would generate enough electricity to power nearly 8 million average homes....View full email delivered March 24, 2022.

Europe’s over-investment in unreliable solar and wind has resulted in an energy crisis that leaves the continent vulnerable to both Putin and the weather. In its rush to eliminate fossil fuels and nuclear power, Europe is now severely restricted in responding to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Europe’s limited supply of 100% reliable energy has caused fast rising fuel prices....View full email delivered March 17th, 2022.

Both data centers and utility-scale solar belong on industrial-zoned land. Data centers rely on fossil fuels to provide 24/7 reliable electricity and can only claim to be powered by renewable energy by buying RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates). Claims of being “green” are misleading...View full email delivered March 8 2022.

Citizens For Responsible Solar is tracking the successful rejection and restriction of utility-scale solar projects on agricultural land. We advocate for policies that protect rural communities. Destroying farm and timberland is NOT green. Share your success story with us...View full email delivered February 1, 2022.

Massachusetts will host the first US solar on highway sound barriers

Massachusetts is paving the way for responsible solar innovation, and is making headlines for doing solar right on industrial building roofs, parking lots and highways. There is a place for utility-scale solar, but not on agricultural land...View full email delivered January 28, 2022.

In response to the alarming amount of farmland being targeted by solar developers, Susan was invited to speak with the The Virginia Cattlemen’s Association as part of a webinar series for cattle producers. Susan was asked to cover “What you need to know about solar projects.” She highlighted the concerns of rural landowners and farmers across the country over aggressive solar development and the need to protect farm and timber land...View full email delivered January 27, 2022.

The tide is turning against those pushing an over-reliance on solar and wind which has damaging consequences on the economy, society and the environment...View full email delivered December 10, 2021.

Axton in Henry County, Virginia and Linn County, Iowa deny solar project proposals.  Lee Clark, Henry County’s director of planning, zoning and inspections said “For me it’s about the appropriateness of land use."  County officials are listening to the organized opposition at public hearings and rejecting solar on agricultural land...View full email delivered December 10, 2021.

ince 2018, Culpeper citizens have opposed 4 industrial-scale solar projects on agricultural land: Troilio, Greenwood, Cricket and Maroon.  Finally, the citizens were heard, and the planning commission did the right thing for the community by approving a draft ordinance that restricts utility-scale solar to industrial-zoned land. The solar ordinance will now go to the Board of Supervisors for the final approval...View full email delivered November 19, 2021.

Susan spoke to Young Farmers and addressed their concerns about the tens of thousands of acres of farmland that are being taken out of agricultural use for solar power plants. We need to protect farmland from destruction. Destroying rural land is not green....View full email delivered November 4, 2021.

U.K. electricity prices were almost seven times as high as at the same point in 2020. "The price surge shows the need to have backup power supplies for moments when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, said Mark Dickinson, chief executive of Inspired PLC."...View full email delivered October 21, 2021.

As citizens united, we can do even more, and expose the truth about how the irresponsible siting of industrial-scale solar on rural-agricultural land is negatively impacting the environment, how the ethics of local officials are in question, how citizens’ rights are being impeded, and the true motivations of solar developers...View full email delivered October 20, 2021.

The threat of industrial-scale solar to rural land is real. Solar developers will fail to fulfill their commitments and the damage to the environment from erosion, high levels of sediment and polluted runoff can be devastating...View full email delivered October 14, 2021.

A new video showcases how industrial-scale solar can easily lead to an environmental disaster and what a community is up against when things go wrong...View full email delivered October 12, 2021.

Despite spending 500B euros and expanding solar capacity 100x, Germany has failed to reach its renewable energy goals...View full email delivered October 7, 2021.

Rural counties are trying to strike a balance between the demand for renewable energy and the desire to preserve farmland, historic sites and open spaces...View full email delivered October 1, 2021.

The Forbes article highlights the surging community opposition to industrial renewable energy projects...View full email delivered September 28, 2021.

How is this "green"? Through our resources, we are shining a light on the devastating impact of industrial-scale solar on communities and the environment...View full email delivered September 23, 2021.

The loss of historic-rural land to industrial-scale solar is irreversible. Counties that have allowed inappropriate solar have "Lots of regrets now.” Read about Citizens for Responsible Solar’s role in the battle to preserve Virginia’s historic land...View full email delivered August 13, 2021.

Solar panel installations are surging in the U.S. and Europe as Western countries seek to cut their reliance on fossil fuels. But the West faces a conundrum as it installs panels on small rooftops and in sprawling desert arrays: Most of them are produced with energy from carbon-dioxide-belching, coal-burning plants in China...View full email delivered August 5, 2021.

Counties need to be very careful. Once the door is opened and a solar project is approved, a precedent is set that could leave the county vulnerable to lawsuits if they try to deny other projects. The finer detail of your solar ordinance is your protection from a lawsuit...View full email delivered July 15, 2021.

There is no national recycling plan for the millions of tons of solar panels (electronic waste, including non-recyclable materials, and toxic heavy metals, such as lead) when solar...View full email delivered July 1, 2021.

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) published study "The Dark side of Solar Power" states: "some governments may classify solar panels as hazardous waste," solar panels will create 50x more waste and cost 4x more than predicted. HBR also shines a light on the low cost of solar panels being derived from Chinese manufacturing’s questionable labor practices (the Chinese solar panel industry has been scrutinized for inhuman conditions relating to Uyghur forced labor)...View full email delivered June 23, 2021.

At its meeting on May 11, the Bedford Town Board voted to follow the planning board’s recommendation and reject a petition for a proposed solar farm zoning code amendment. Wise elected officials side with the community and reject solar developer’s self-serving zoning amendment...View full email delivered July 1, 2021.

The "Not In Our Backyard" report is a must-read. The last paragraph of the Executive Summary states: "Finally, this report documents the widespread resistance to the encroachment of large-scale renewable projects by landowners and local governments across rural America...View full email delivered June 3, 2021.

More citizens and elected officials are beginning to recognize the pitfalls of industrial-scale solar on rural land, and are denying irresponsible solar applications...View full email delivered May 20, 2021.

On May 4th, the Culpeper Board of Supervisors listened to the citizens and unanimously denied the inappropriate industrial-scale solar plant proposed on rural-agricultural land...View full email delivered May 14, 2021.

We can devise a plan to reduce carbon emissions to help climate change. Destroying rural-agricultural land on such a mass scale through developing large utility scale industrial solar plants is not the answer...View full email delivered May 3, 2021.

‘Bright Green Lies’ Documentary: Exposing the Illusions of Green Technology in Stark Detail...View full email delivered April 30, 2021.

Does this look “green” to you? Thousands of acres of rural land have been covered by glass solar panels. The irresponsible siting of industrial-scale solar does not save the planet and does not prevent climate change. Solar developers are taking advantage of rural communities at the expense of the environment, residents, and taxpayers...View full email delivered April 28, 2021.

Te environment needs you. Land is being destroyed on a mass-scale all across the USA...View full email delivered April 22, 2021.

It's irresponsible to cut down trees and destroy rural-agricultural land for solar power plants. Utility-scale solar should be placed responsibly on industrial-zoned land, marginal or contaminated land or on commercial and residential rooftops...View full email delivered April 16, 2021.

If we want to get to zero emissions by 2050, then solar/wind isn't the answer. Solar/wind will cover huge amounts of land (literally destroying the planet) vs. nuclear energy (which produces no C02). Will the USA course-correct itself about solar? Will local county officials do the right thing and protect agricultural land from unnecessary destruction?...View full email delivered July 1, 2021.

Since Citizens for Responsible Solar relaunched last fall, we have been inundated by concerned citizens from across the USA who are joining a national movement to protect their communities against the onslaught of industrial-scale solar on rural land. Elected officials must act in the best interests of their local citizens and the environment...View full email delivered March 4, 2021.

This article sums up what many rural communities are, especially on agricultural land, isn't the answer to climate change....View full email delivered February 25 2021.

To survive extreme weather, humans need 100% reliable electricity.“This blizzard proves that during extreme weather in winter, solar panels and wine turbines are of little or no value to the electric grid.”...View full email delivered February 23, 2021.

Wind failed by almost 100%. Renewable energy advocates are trying to shift the blame for Texas power outages away from frozen wind turbines.  The Wall Street Journal sets the record straight. In Texas, wind failed by producing 93% less than normal...View full email delivered January 27, 2021

This week there were 4 million people without power in Texas. Frozen wind turbines = 0% energy.

When the sun isn’t shining, solar = 0% energy. If we want to keep warm and have electricity all of the time, 100% renewable energy is not the answer...View full email delivered February 19, 2021

View 20+ images. There is a place for solar, but cutting down thousands of acres of trees is not green... View full email delivered February 8, 2021

Responsible Solar Requires Local Ordinances. Without a Solar Ordinance, counties are not protected from energy corporations that want to destroy rural land...View full email delivered January 27, 2021

Citizens for Responsible Solar believes in the proper siting of large-scale solar power plants on industrial-zoned land, not destroying thousands of acres of farmland and forests. 3 key solar points from this eye-opening video...View full email delivered January 21, 2021.

Rural communities are being destroyed (forests, farmland and property values devastated) so big corporations can fraudulently claim they’re 100% renewable...View full email delivered January 13, 2021.

Will solar developers change their ways, or continue to disrespect history? American Battlefield Trust, Cultural Heritage Partners,and Preservation Virginia have teamed up to draw the line, before industrial-scale solar destroys our history...View full email delivered December 21, 2020.

Will Culpeper take the lead across the USA in how counties should manage industrial-scale solar on agricultural-rural land, or just become another county dazzled by short-term $ and duped by energy corporations?...View full email delivered December 9, 2020.

orth Carolina’s installed solar power is second only to California’s. Some may cringe at the thought of following California’s energy policy, given the rolling blackouts imposed there. Solar power seemed like an attractive option in 2007, when the Democrat-controlled legislature...View full email delivered November 24, 2020.

It was clear the Planning Commission did their due diligence and took into account the pleas of over 20 citizens who spoke at the meeting and many written objections. On December 1, we will find out if the Board of Supervisors will deny Maroon Solar’s application to develop a 1,700-acre industrial-scale solar power plant on agricultural-rural-historic land. Below are some related new materials citizens across the USA may find helpful for your local talking points...View full email delivered November 19, 2020.

Energy corporations disregard water runoff-ecological concerns, and are willing to pay millions in violations...View full email delivered November 17, 2020.

CAUTION ALERT: Just in, from yesterday's-overnight’s BIG rainfall, which shows more evidence of flooding and why industrial-scale solar doesn’t belong in Culpeper.  There are HUGE water runoff-ecological concerns. Wetlands and waterways that feed into the Rapidan- Chesapeake Bay Watershed risk contamination...View full email delivered November 12, 2020.

Help us protect agricultural-forestry zoned land from large,industrial-scale solar developments. As many of you know, Citizens for Responsible Solar began as a few people from Culpeper, Virginia...View full email delivered November 9, 2020.

Help us protect agricultural-forestry zoned land

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