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Post-Tribune (IN) EDITORIAL: Solar farms are short on details March 5, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Uncategorized.
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Reprinted at: http://www.indianaeconomicdigest.net/main.asp?SectionID=31&subsectionID=306&articleID=64030

2/18/2012 12:37:00 PM

Post-Tribune Original article: http://posttrib.suntimes.com/opinions/10640914-474/solar-farms-are-short-on-details.html

Why Ecos Renewable Energy isn’t being more forthcoming with information about a series of proposed solar panel farms in Lake and Porter counties seems a bit of a mystery. None of the four would-be local farms — proposed for Hobart, Merrillville, and Portage and Union townships in Porter County — is in a sensitive area, and at least the first areas appear to be welcoming the plants with open arms.Only the Union Township site received any negative feedback, as some neighbors in the area had concerns about noise and property value effects, leading the Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals to turn down the plan. Officials elsewhere have been happy about the investment in their communities.

Yet, Ecos, a Minnesota-based company, won’t discuss its local plans, nor others they may be developing here or around the state. According to a Northern Indiana Public Service Co. spokesman, Ecos has made “quite a few” proposals to the utility, which would buy the energy the plants produce.

Alternative energy projects have attracted much attention in recent years, as traditional fuels become more expensive and pollution has become a greater concern. Although wind power has some critics, negative stories have been minimal on solar power, which has improved over the years enough that even areas such as Indiana, which aren’t that sunny, can produce power from the sun.

These proposed solar plants seem like a good thing, and they should be built. It would be easier to support them, though, if their builders would tell us that in their own words.