Residents of a small town in the US state of North Carolina have rejected a proposal to set up a solar farm because they fear it would cause cancer, hamper photosynthesis and drive young people out of town. The proposal was blocked after a signed petition by Woodland residents was forwarded to the Town Council, which voted three to one against building the solar farm.
At the Town Council meeting, its members also voted for a moratorium on future solar farms. One of the residents of the area, Bobby Mann said: "Solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland. You're killing your town. All the young people are going to move out."
Retired science teacher Jane Mann said she was concerned about solar farms. She said she had seen plants near solar farms dead as they prevented photosynthesis from taking place. She also raised concerns about high cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her solar panels did not cause cancer.
She said: "I want to know what's going to happen. I want information. Enough is enough. I don't see the profit for the town. People come with hidden agendas. Until we can find if anything is going to damage this community, we shouldn't sign any paper."
According to Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, the town has already approved three other solar farms, and is a popular location because it has an electric substation that the solar panels can connect to the national power grid.
Strata Solar Company was planning to set up a solar farm off Highway 258 in Woodland. The company representatives at the meeting said the solar farm would have ample amount of vegetation, and was proven to be safe when installed next to homes. The company's representatives also said that property value would see "no negative impacts".
"There are no toxic materials on site. This is a tried and true technology," the representatives said.