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Solar array would deter tourism

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By Sunday, Dec 2, 2018 Letters 11

To the editor:

I am writing concerning the recent article on the proposed solar array being placed on the current Egremont Golf/Country Club property directly on Route 23. It is both problematic and ironic that it is where the entering Great Barrington sign is on one side and entering Egremont on the other side.

Aside from the residential nature of this area with the Windflower Inn directly facing it on one side and the Egremont Inn on the other side and the various homes that abut the current golf course, it is one of the major routes entering both Great Barrington in one direction and Egremont in the other direction. To place a considerably large solar array at this entry point is extremely short-sighted.

We are, among other things, a tourist destination. Is this what we want all the people leaving the cities to come to this country setting to feel like they haven’t really left the city. Any benefit derived from additional electricity to businesses will be greatly overshadowed by lessening the tourist trade.

Having another solar array is not the central issue at this point. It is the inappropriate placement of it on that highly visible site that will in the future be one of the things people will point to and say, “What were they thinking?”

Bill Burger

South Egremont



11 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Bob says:

    I disagree that it would deter tourism. I would be willing to bet it won’t even put a dent in Berkshire tourism. This seems like another NIMBY opinion submission.

  2. W.C. says:

    We certainly don’t need more tourist less would be could. I live near a solar array destroyed the environment and an eye sore to boot.

  3. Jim Balfanz says:

    One of the worst “eye sores” in Berkshire country can be seen as you drive on route 102 entering West Stockbridge from the east…. It is stunning how they managed to put that project right at the gateway to that town….. Stunning….

  4. Shawn G. says:

    beauty is in the eye of the beholder- I find solar fields attractive and appealing.

  5. anni crofut says:

    Why do we think that a solar array is an eyesore, but we have no problem filling our tanks with gasoline that leads to carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, not to mention the ‘dirty energy’ of gas and oil in the global geo political sphere? We need to change the conversation here. Energy needs to come from somewhere. If I were to see a solar array congruent to entering GB, I would associate GB with being a forward thinking, sustainably oriented town. Something to be proud of. (Golf courses, by the way, consume massive amounts of water. )

    1. Shawn G. says:

      ‘LIKE’ (a lot)

  6. Ted B. says:

    When was the last time you heard the following …..”were going to a drive out into the country and look at all the solar arrays, I hear there beautiful this time of the year ” ??!! OR …… ” with your stay at the Red Lion Inn ( insert favorite place to stay south county ) we give a tour of all the solar arrays. “

    1. Bob says:

      Yeah but Ted, when was the last time that you heard “we were going to spend a weekend in the Berkshires but they put in that solar array and now I just can’t see myself going to that James Taylor concert and visiting the Mount after that”???

      1. CB says:

        That will never happen, Bob. Tourism in the Berkshires will not falter because of solar fields. I have to agree with Anni’s remark about forward thinking and sustainability. Although, forcing the builders of these fields to plant Arborvitaes would be a huge bonus for all of us living with, and looking at these fields. An example would be the field on VanDeusenville Road in Housatonic. In 3 years’ time, those fields won’t event be noticed at all. Out of sight, out of mind.

  7. Carl Stewart says:

    It seems more likely than not, that if people were polled they would say that solar arrays are not visually appealing. But since it appears that they are going to become more present on the landscape, isn’t the task of citizens, including those on both sides of the issue, to come up with design solutions that the majority can live with?

  8. Jeff Morse says:

    Here’s a link to a March 2018 Forbes article about solar panel waste that should give everyone pause. To quote one of the founders of the modern environmental movement, Barry Commoner, who said back before recycling was in the common consciousness: “Everything must go somewhere. There is no “waste” in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.” I personally do not get all warm and fuzzy when I see fields covered with solar panels anywhere in the beautiful Berkshires. Your mileage may vary on that but is not the community that is so concerned about the waste of single use plastic bottles at all concerned about the waste stream from solar panels, particularly at the end of their life cycle?
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/05/23/if-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/#5db979f5121c

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