WOODLAND, N.C. – Voters in one North Carolina town rejected a plan to generate solar energy in part out of fear that solar panels might “suck up all the energy from the sun,” according to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.
The Woodland Town Council rejected a proposal to rezone a section of land that the Strata Solar Company would have used to create a solar farm.
Only one councilman voted in favor of the solar farm, while three others rejected it after listening to public concerns.
A retired science teacher named Jane Mann spoke out saying she was concerned that the solar panels would cause nearby plants to die, saying she had seen brown plants near some existing panels.
She also expressed her personal belief that solar panels were causing cancer among the community.
Another resident named Bobby Mann said he was concerned the solar farms would “suck up all the energy from the sun” and drive new business away, according to the paper.
One longtime resident, Mary Hobbs, said that the only people profiting from the solar farms were the landowners who sold their plots, the energy companies and the solar companies.
Since the proposed location of the farm is outside town limits, the town itself would only get around $7,000 per year that would be used to train firefighters in the case of a Strata malfunction.
Representatives from the company addressed the townspeople’s theories, saying that “the panels don’t draw additional sunlight,” and calling the use of solar energy “tried and true technology” that doesn’t use toxic material.
Despite the assurances of company representatives, the town not only voted against the solar farm, but later approved a moratorium on any future proposals.