• Connie Neininger

Anti-Renewable by Any Means Necessary

Recently, a court of law decided to uphold a vote by the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals to approve the Lone Oak Solar Farm. Unfortunately, the opposition is now filing an appeal as they seek to block the project. I respect the opposition's right to speak their mind and file a lawsuit when they believe proper procedures were not followed.

However, this is part of a pattern we repeatedly see across the state – anti-renewable energy activists aim to simply stop wind and solar from being developed anywhere in Indiana, and they will use any means necessary. Most of the time the facts are not being considered. At Hoosiers for Renewables, our mission is to provide you with the facts about wind and solar and ensure that you have the information you need to make an informed decision. Because we are confident Hoosiers will choose renewable energy for their communities when they know the facts (and, as a matter of fact, check out how Hoosiers already overwhelmingly support renewable energy).

So, here are a few facts:

FACT – Everyone has an opinion, and opinions are how a person thinks or feels about the facts, but opinions are not facts.

FACT – the cost of wind and solar energy is less expensive than coal and gas.

FACT – Solar energy provides an economic benefit to the county, landowners, and electric consumers.

FACT – Madison County’s assessed valuation has been changing over the years and not always in a good way. Based on the data provided by Indiana Gateway, Madison County’s assessed valuation is down $1.9 billion since 2016 – and a new solar development will help replace lost assessed value.

We believe that diversification in our energy mix and our farming operations is important to keep our rural communities viable long into the future.

Finding the right location for a project is important. When a project such as the Lone Oak Solar Farm finds a consortium of landowners who agree to use their land for such a project, the local zoning authority approves the project, and a court of law affirms the local decision – then why is it being questioned again? – Because small, but vocal opponents of such projects don't want anyone to know the facts.

Each community needs to make a determination about whether renewable energy is a good fit. That is why we have the due process with public hearings and an appointed board to review the facts and make informed fact-based decisions. We see our role to help facilitate that process by presenting the facts about the benefits – and asking supporters to join us and speak out.

Listen to the facts and open your mind to the possibilities of a new energy source and a new business model that will bring rural vitality to Madison County and many more Indiana communities.

Learn the facts today.