Citizens Have Big Concerns
County and City Government Impacts
What do we all REALLY KNOW? Don’t RUSH the Critical Thinking, Serious Debate and Decisons that will irreversibly impact our Counties, State, Nation and World …
1) Tax Abatements will Result in No Additional Tax Revenue for the First 10 Years
- The time value of cash will reduce the significance of tax benefits compared to potential property tax increases that would otherwise occur from development on land in and around the utility-scale solar site during the first 10 year period.
- Solar facility improvements and equipment will be 10 years old before being taxed and would be taxed at fair market value.
- Reduced valuation over time for properties in proximity to solar facilities will decrease the county taxable base as tax assessments will decrease to reflect the lower market value of properties adjacent and near utility scale solar facilities.
2) Reliance on Utility-Scale Solar Energy will Contribute to an Unreliable Electrical Supply and Increase Electrical Rates
- Utility-scale solar increases dependence on unpredictable renewable energy increases likelihood of brownouts and blackouts. See article at attached link about the energy crisis in Europe, where many nations are more dependent on solar energy than we are in the US. Europe faces a winter energy crisis years in the making
- Greater dependence on solar energy has resulted in increased rates for electricity. Reference article written by Michael Shellenberger:Why Solar and Wind Really do Increase Electricity Prices
3) County Government Potential for Staffing and Administrative Challenges
- County staff will be required to support a complex application process and provide oversight/inspections of construction activities and ongoing operation.
- Incremental effort without an accompanying increase in tax revenue for 10 years.
- The County may need additional facilities, equipment, and training to deal the potential fires for battery facilities and to fight fires within solar arrays / inverters.
- Increased runoff during construction and during a 3-5 year revegetation phase will impact county roads and residents.
- Culverts along driveways and roads may need to be replaced to increase capacity required due to stormwater runoff.
- Bridges over roads and culverts under roads may be undersized to support increased water flow in streams during / following heavy rainfall.
- Residents may experience transportation challenges due to washout of roads and driveways.
- Adjoining properties may experience damage from washouts and coverage of their property from silt from the utility scale solar facility.
4) Impeding Normal Growth of Area and of Nearby Cities
- During the life cycle of a utility scale solar facility, estimated at 20 – 40 years, fringe cities will have their growth thwarted by utility scale solar.
- Without utility scale solar, normal growth of the unincorporated area would be a conversion from agricultural use to residential use with some commercial development as the rural population increases. Refer to the map below which shows the current number of homes located along County Line Road, where utility-scale solar developments may be proposed. This is an exampe of very irresponsible siting, as there is well over $100 million dollars worth of family homes not to mention productive agricultural land and agri-business. Why would the counties stunt long-term economic growth in either county by placing an industrial power plant smack dab in the middle of thriving and desirable land?
- New homes that would be constructed would generate additional tax revenue for the county. Many newer homes in the area have tax assessments in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 range.
- County residents near utility scale solar will be negatively impacted as government services such as schools, parks, etc. are directed to areas with growing populations. Similarly, private companies that provide services such as cellular, broadband telecommunications, and cable TV will be unlikely to invest in areas without population growth leaving these citizens without high-speed broadband that would enable more work from home and home
Irresponsible Utility-Scale Solar Siting will Stunt Economic Growth in Counties
Below is an Interactive/Layered Google map of the area potentially effected by proposed utility-scale solar developments (based on NextEra’s desire for a 3,200 to potentially 6,000 acre Industrial Utility-Scale Solar Facility based on secretive ground-leases NextEra has been persuing over the last 3+ years, no public knowledge, lessors held to non-disclosure terms).
This map displays markers of the 200+ family homes that are located within 0 – <1 mile of NextEra’s original Industrial Utility-Scale Solar Power Facility development footprint (as published by Lawrence Journal World on 8/24/2021).
The total value of all homes (based on Zillow Zestimates as of 10/6/2021) on the Douglas County, KS side is $50,298,500 (122 homes) on the Johnson County, KS side it is
$29,807,710 (78 homes). Combined county property values TOTAL approximatley $80,106,210.
The median home value in this area on the Douglas County, KS side is $382,000, on the Johnson County, KS side it is $301,000
The lowest home value in this area is $44,000 and highest $1,790,000.
Homes with “Unknown” Zillow Zestimates were valued at the conservative “median” in this area, for each county. So for Douglas County, KS the median used was $382,000 for Johnson County, KS the median used was $301,000.
There are also hundreds and hundreds of more homes within the slightly extended 1- 1.5 mile radius of this proposed development. The area is burgeoning with new home construction, home sales, new business and agricultural ventures.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This map also displays the outline of the 9,000 Acre Sunflower Ammunitions Plant Brownfield Site. This site is currently being cleaned up by the US Government/Army and is a more responsible location for Utility-Scale Solar Power Facility development.
Outline of Development Area sourced from:
Other Citizens’ Utility-Scale Solar Concern Topics
Problems with Utility-Scale Solar Power Facilities
This section contains discussion around the “problems” with renewable energy technologies. What happens when Utility-Scale Solar ends up hurting humans, wildlife and the planet as a whole? Understanding the many complexities of Utility-Scale Solar is critical before decisions are made.
Property Valuation Impacts on Surrounding Properties
This section contains comments on Utility-Scale Solar and what has been observed and studied with regards to negative impacts to surrounding property values. Content was curated from Appraisal experts, property value research studies (not many out there since large scale industrial solar power facilities near human populations/homes, within less than 1 mile, is a new concern).
Heath and Safety Concerns
This section contains discussion on fire risk hazards related to large lithium-ion battery energy storage systems, inverters and solar arrays.
Also health concerns around Utility-Scale Solar noise, glint and glare and long-term exposure to low-level radiation produced by EMFs (electric and magnetic fields) from concentrated Utility-Scale Solar inverters, transmission lines and battery storage facilities in close proximity to and in some cases surronding homes.
Stormwater and Erosion Control
Increased stormwater runoff from utility scale solar facilities during
both the construction phase and ongoing operations is a serious issue. During construction the land is scraped of vegetation and bare ground is exposed to rain and wind. Stormwater runoff will result in costly erosion, flooding and sediment buildup causing harm to connecting tributaries, eco-systems and landowners.
This section contains a collection of videos, spanning all topics. If you don’t like to read articles these videos are helpful in explaining many of the concerns outlined above. Additionally you will find comments from both Douglas and Johnson County, KS Concerned Citizens and past County Planning Commission Public Meetings.