Re: “Solar farms are booming in Washington state, but where should they go?” [May 2, Environment]:
I’m a Seattleite who sympathizes with folks in Eastern Washington who want to avoid massive solar farms, if possible. Klickitat County Commissioner Dan Christopher said of solar farming, “You don’t want it in your backyard. You want it in our backyard.” He is right, I don’t want solar installations in my backyard — ugh! — just on my roof.
One rooftop solar array can already power a home and electric car without degrading habitat or landscapes. Rooftop sunlight is free; installation is the only cost. The government should invest in small matching grants to split installation costs with homeowners. Homeowners then recoup their costs from free electricity. This model will decentralize and locally source ownership of solar production. Ownership of a large portion of solar production would be literally “mom and pop.”
Centralized solar may need to have a role, but why rush to big corporate solar first? Didn’t we learn anything from giant oil oligopolies? I want my tax money to go to decentralized solar first. Once the majority of rooftops power homes and cars, then we can consider mega solar arrays if we really need them.
Linda Anderson, Seattle