I thought I’d share a letter I sent today (April 12 2020) to the Montgomery County Council in support of a pending zoning text amendment, ZTA 20-01, introduced by Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Tom Hucker and co-sponsored by Councilmember Craig Rice. I hope the council will enact the ZTA!
I continue to support ZTA 20-01, which would allow the limited installation of solar facilities in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. This legislation would allow significant ramp-up of Montgomery County’s local capacity to generate renewable energy and advance us toward meeting our county’s Climate Emergency goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027.
An interesting and relevant article came across the TCM (Climate Mobilization) e-mail list on Friday, “After COVID-19, Here Comes More & Better Farming With Solar Panels” (https://cleantechnica.com/
Pulling a quote: “Farmers are beginning to learn how to do their farming within solar arrays, and in a new green twofer, solar arrays could actually help push the regenerative agriculture movement into the mainstream.”
The focus of the article is “A new solar project soon to start construction on a farm in Grafton, Massachusetts [that] is aiming to do double duty as a holistic preservation tool that helps improve soil and enhance nutrition for grazing animals. The ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable farm economy and cultivate the next generation of farmers.”
This sort of innovation — advancing both our climate response and sustainable agriculture — is precisely what ZTA 20-01 would enable!