The Record, a northern New Jersey paper, took a stand on the practice of logging for solar farms:
"A company ... chopped down 5 acres of oaks, maples and sweet gums to make room for a field that will host more than 3,000 solar panels. Some residents aren't happy about it. Neither are we."
(Blogger's note - I read this in the online edition rather than in print.)
They go on to say:
"...as Staff Writer James M. O'Neill reports, trees do more than clean. They prevent soil erosion from runoff and they serve as homes for wildlife. Bruce Surak, a councilman in the borough, said cutting down trees raises the noise level. Not good, with busy Teterboro Airport nearby."
You can read the rest of the opinion piece here:
The original article goes into further detail:
"Count Don Torino squarely in favor of the trees. Torino, president of Bergen County Audubon, shook his head sadly as he scanned a 5-acre lot studded with stumps of freshly cut trees and piles of downed limbs along Caesar Place in Moonachie."
Torino: "First, we had Big Coal and Big Oil. Now we have to watch out for Big Solar. You've got to love the irony. If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny."
The Solar Gardens Institute's Principles of Responsible Solar Development comes down squarely on the side of the trees. The very first principal addresses the topic:
- Tree Preservation: By hosting panels on another rooftop or a community solar garden, people can protect the trees that shade their houses.
(You can read the rest of the principles at SGI's about page http://www.solargardens.org/about/ )
It just wouldn't make sense to save one tree by cutting down another! The United States has paved over 60,000 square miles, an area the size of the state of Georgia. I have come to believe a cost effective solar canopy solution for roads and parking lots is the way forward.
Hug a tree today!
Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com