In a Woodland Town Council meeting last week in Woodland, North Carolina, members of the community rejected a proposal by Strata Solar Company to install a solar farm off of a nearby highway.
Before the Town Council vote, residents shared their concerns in during a public comment period. Keith Hoggard, a reporter for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, says several people spoke out against the proposal. One attendee said the town's value had fallen because there were too many solar farms in the area. A retired science teacher also said she was concerned that the solar panels would prevent vegetation from growing because they would stop photosynthesis. She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, suggesting the solar panels could be a cause. Another resident said he feared " the solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland."
Strata Solar Company addressed the community before the vote to quell these fears, including statements that the solar panels would only use light directly absorbed from the sun, that the solar farm would have substantial vegetation, and that there is no proof solar farms have negative impacts on property value.
The Town Council voted 3-1 against the solar farm and later voted to instill a moratorium on future solar farms.
North Carolina continues to extend policies for renewable tax credits for commercial solar, but has not approved solar for residential use. Environmental activists in the state claim Duke Energy, which provides over half of North Carolina's electricity, is funding anti-solar campaigns in the area.