The Solar Gardens Institute has been leasing land for community-owned solar arrays in several states. Some of our landowners have mentioned that they have refused leases for oil or gas drilling (usually hydraulic fracturing).
This issue really hits home for my family as both my sister and uncle own homes in the Poconos of northeast Pennsylvania. My uncle has found potential gas leases very near his home. We will offer the landowners solar leases instead, and the same is true anywhere that a solar array can be economically constructed.
One complicating factor - solar power is intermittent, and gas turbines are frequently used to provide backup power. To lessen the effects of this "gotcha", we present a study from John Farrell at the Institute for Local Self Reliance that shows that having lots of small solar arrays, rather than a few big ones, means you need less gas for buffering. A lot less. Just another reason to support distributed solar power!
Our goal is to bring solar arrays into local ownership, which will keep both the power and the money local. Solar power can help keep the air and water clean, and help protect the precious Poconos from climate change.
Learn more about gas fracking here: