A Delmarva Farmer editorial (2017-09-22) raised ongoing concerns that Eastern Shore agricultural lands remain threated by large scale solar development. The editorial cited recent utility scale projects in the areas of East New Market and Hurlock and expressed concern that the Invenerg, the Chicago-based company behind the Hurlock project did not hold any community outreach meetings or engage in preliminary discussions with adjacent land owners. The editorial argued that the loss of farmland can have a cascade effect on the economy of the Eastern Shore. From the editorial:
We are aware that solar power generation is useful and environmentally desirable.
We are also aware that it is being heavily awarded financially. …
Solar developers argue — and we agree — that solar development will occupy only a fraction of the farmland acreage on the Shore.
But put a value on that farmland — hundreds of acres of solar panels — and remember it has just started — and translate that annual loss into bushels of corn and soybeans and wheat and translate that loss into its impact on the poultry industry.
Consider erecting those columns of solar panels on the huge expanses of acreage provided by landfills, abandoned industrial properties, brownfields and the like.