Letter: Push On to More Solar in Dryden

The graves of my ancestors are spread across much of our country. I have been to their graves in Massachusetts, Maine, Delaware, Ohio, Kansas and New Mexico. They have been kept in various states of repair and are in different kinds of settings. Some are in the country, others surrounded by tract homes, some where you can’t talk because of highway noise, and one in a completely ignored piece of wind blown desert.

My ancestors were the same kind of good, hard working people who lie in the Willow Glen Cemetery. When I visit my ancestors, I go to pay respect and to thank them for what they did when they were alive. When no one else can hear, I talk to them. What I don’t go for, however, is to look at the scenery. The setting is not important compared to what I feel for them.

I have researched my ancestors. What came out strong and clear is that they looked forward – not back – and put the generations to come ahead of themselves.
Our kids and grand kids deserve a better future than they’re going to get if we don’t do all we can about climate change now. Climate change is already causing major problems, but it’s on course to get much worse–and the people who will get the brunt of it are our kids and grandkids.

In Tompkins County, we have a plan for facing up to climate change. It says we need to cut back on fossil fuels and switch to renewables. Those who keep track of our progress say we are already way behind. We’ve got to pick up the pace.

The Solar 8 project will help us do just what is needed. I have studied the proposal for its legality AND its environmental impact. Based on what I know of the town’s laws, the project can be legally placed in the zoning districts chosen. From what I’ve seen, it meets the requirements for legal subdivisions. Based on what I know about Public Service Commission rulings, it meets the requirements for community aggregated solar. In fact, placing 2 megawatt (MW) arrays next to each other as proposed is exactly what the PSC expects.

Therefore, the question before the Dryden Town Board is whether the Developer has done everything practical to reduce its negative environmental impact – not whether our ancestors should be honored. We do that every day in what we do and how we say it.

Given how Solar 8 has changed the project to meet residents’ concerns, we have to say they have done everything that’s realistically possible. As to our ancestors, I say it is time to do what they would have done, put the kids first, and push on to more solar.

Joseph Wilson
Dryden