In 1998, my girlfriend and I bought a condo in The Hills and have been in Bedminster ever since. We love this town. We have since married, moved out of The Hills into a single family home and started a family. We feel that our neighborhood, just north of the Kirby farm, is a fantastic place to raise a family. We live among modest homes with deer and fox running through our yard. We have great neighbors who walk our dirt roads chatting with friends on their travels.
In 2012, KDC Solar of Bedminster applied for a variance to build an 11 megawatt industrial solar power plant at the end of my street. This solar power plant would use 40 plus acres of viable farmland and woodlands in Bedminster’s rural residential zone to supply power to an international pharmaceutical corporation, Sanofi, in a different town, Bridgewater.
I have many questions about this.
How will this affect Bedminster? Will thousands of acres of Bedminster farmland, open space and rural land be at risk if this variance is approved? If this variance is granted, how does Bedminster benefit? Bedminster receives zero percent of the proposed plant’s power. How will this precedent affect this town, my town?
How will this affect our neighborhood? Will we still see farmland from our backyards? Will we hear the 11 power inverters humming all through the night? How will the wildlife around us survive once the 40 plus acres they call home has a seven-foot fence around it. How will this affect us and our neighbors? We live "off the grid" relying on well water and septic systems. What will this power plant do to the environment around us? I have read that the solar panels contain some nasty stuff. Will it seep into the ground? Will it affect the water supply? Do I need to be concerned about the health of myself, my wife and my 3 year old son?
Why this piece of land in Bedminster and not land in Bridgewater? KDC says that the landlord of the Sanofi property does not want panels on their property. If these panels are so good and solar is so beneficial, then, why don’t they want panels on their property?
My biggest question is--why is this good for Bedminster?