The Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is urging comments on its newly released draft report titled "Energy Sprawl in Connecticut: Why Farmland and Forests Are Being Developed for Electricity Production."
The CEQ said on its website it is seeking comment and alternative ideas to avoid the use of farmland and forest for solar
power facilities through Jan. 18. The CEQ will discuss
the report at its meeting Jan. 25 at the Department of Energy and
Environmental Protection, 79 Elm St., Hartford.
Among the findings of the draft report is the growing loss
of farmland and forest, which nearly equaled the amount preserved by the state, or
approximately 1,700 acres in the average year, by 2016. Agricultural acreage
remained relatively steady at the beginning of the Great Recession of
2007-2009, however, over the last 10 years the development of solar energy
facilities has become the biggest factor in taking farmland out of production.
“As a state working hard toward a sustainable economy, we
should not be pitting solar energy against agriculture and forests,” CEQ
Chairman Susan Merrow said. “We can have green power and green farms and
forests, but we need to find ways to steer the power facilities toward
industrial properties and other previously-developed land.”
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