The article about the proposed solar farm in Topsham hammers home the lack of holistic approaches of solar farms in Maine and the world.

Any building not in tree shade should have solar panels on the [flat] rooftops because that real estate is already developed with great potential to site PV panels, while fallow farmland and woodlands are very important to organically absorb and store CO2 exponentially via tree growth.

In a satellite review of Topsham Fairground Mall Road businesses and parking lots, it appears that only the Target store makes efficient energy use of its building’s real estate with solar panels. On the other hand, the proposed Foreside Road project seems to remove (how many?) trees with plans to replant foliage disrupted by construction. At what financial cost? What happens if the owner files bankruptcy as a way to avoid restoring the land to its original state at the end of the project’s lifecycle?

Shouldn’t comprehensive plans promote arrays on top of existing flat roof buildings before disrupting agricultural and forested properties?

Wouldn’t it be more efficient to build “A” frame structures for solar panels plus tree growth on land rather than covering vast acreage with PV arrays?

Perhaps a comprehensive greening of Maine policy could use existing property tax laws to tax owners of flat roof buildings and parking lots for potential value if they don’t have solar panels on their buildings and parking lots?

Another greener policy should move Maine to Atlantic Time year round in coordination with New Brunswick.

Jack Boak

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