LTE: Solar projects could impact dairy operations

To the editor:
Our family owns the dairy farm to which Ms. Leizinger says that Carver County is pandering to foolish notions about stray voltage (Editor’s Note: Leizinger wrote a letter in the previous edition, which can be found here). Is Ms. Leizinger an expert on stray voltage? Does she know that dairy farmers have sued electric companies about stray voltage, and won?

This dairy has been in the family for over 125 years. This is our livelihood. We have to worry about stray voltage because a solar garden has never been built this close to a dairy farm before. We have dairy animals that are only 146 feet from the proposed site. This is a concern. Our land surrounds the proposed site on two sides.

Ms. Leizinger assumes that this solar garden would provide jobs to local people — I wouldn’t assume this at all. The design could come from the solar company’s home office, which is in Canada. Maybe some local electricians might be hired for the set up, which would only be jobs for a few months. The solar company says there really is little maintenance associated with the solar garden, so we couldn’t count on that for more jobs.

Our dairy is a business, we hire local people to work for us and do almost all our business with other local businesses, such as the veterinarian, the farm implement dealers, the feed stores, banks, etc.

Is Ms. Leizinger really worried about the land owner losing money on this deal? He is an absentee land owner who didn’t even know where his land was when he bought it. He’s making money on his land right now, he rents it out to some other farmer for agriculture production.

As far as Carver County’s lost opportunity of being a leader in a clean renewable energy, have you driven through the county lately? There are several solar gardens being built right now and more have been approved.

What a lot of us are wondering is where will this solar power go? Most likely to the metro area with no return for us. We are the ones losing good producing ag land, seeing the ugly “gardens” in our backyard but getting nothing from this. People who live in a town, or by golf courses, will never face this situation, but you want us to give up our livelihood so our county can be a leader in solar energy.

Scott and Yvonne Hoese