DOVER, Pa. — Some Dover Township residents are furious after an energy company has proposed to transform 660 acres of farmland into a solar field.
"Getting rid of the farm land for something like that, I just don’t think it’s a good idea," said John Rosenberry, a Dover Township resident.
Enel Power, the group behind the operation, has a global presence in 31 countries, and if the project is greenlighted, it will be its first in Pennsylvania.
The company said they are attracted to the Dover area because the existing power lines makes it easier to transfer energy.
According to the company, the proposed plan will produce enough carbon-free electricity to power 12,000 homes and prevent 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
If built, a portion of the solar farm will be within feet of nearby businesses.
"We don’t want to look at the solar panels in our backyard, we'd rather look at the animals; the deer, the wildlife everything's Dover has been," said Kelli Brown, the owner of the Route 74 restaurant.
On the other hand, some homeowners say the project is an environmental advantage for the next generation.
"It’s not all about us, it’s about the kids that are growing up now. We need to find a way protect the environment," said Sandy Preston, a Dover resident.
Enel Power hopes to purchase land from farmers on:
- Carlisle Road
- Butter Road
- Spring Street
- Fox Run Road
- Bull Road
- Nursery Street
The company said the farm will pour approximately $1.7 million in real estate tax revenue and will create 330 jobs during construction.
"I don’t see any problems with it, sounds like a good thing to me, it should increase the tax base around here, which is a good thing because we don’t have a good tax base in this area," said Jeffery Brown, a homeowner.
Brittany Staszak, a development manager on the project said they hope to create a long-lasting relationship with the community if the farm is built.
"We want to create grassroots partnerships with local businesses, economic alliance board, the school board," Staszak said.
A zoning hearing meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15th at Dover Area Middle school at 7 P.M. with Enel and members of Dover Township.