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Morgan community reacts to plans of solar power farm

The saying goes make hay while the sun shines, but developer Dave Blittersdorf is making money while the sun shines.

“We’re making solar when the tax and investment climate is correct,” said Blittersdorf.

The latest example: a proposed 100-panel farm in Morgan, near Lake Seymour.

“We make solar trackers that follow the sun and if you make panels that follow the sun, you produce about 40 percent more energy,” said Blittersdorf.

Blitttersdorf has yet to convince everyone his plan is in the town’s best interest.

“What value does this project have for the benefit of the residents of the town of Morgan?” asked Larry Labor, a Morgan select board member.

“You will get tax revenue for the town,” said Blittersdorf.

Some residents worry about what wind and solar projects might do to the quality of water in the lake, but the developer reminded residents that the net metering benefits of solar far outweigh what they perceive as the risks.

“The runoff will not impact the lake,” said Blittersdorf.

The energy produced would not power Morgan, but would be stored and sent to Jay Peak to help power the resort.

At an informational meeting called by the select board Monday, Blittersdorf received support from an unlikely source– the man who may soon live right next door to the arrays.

“I’m not a fan of solar but I believe he has a right to do as he intended with the property after all,” said Corey Carpenter.

Some leery residents believe Blittersdorf’s ridgeline land purchases mean he also wants to bring wind to the small Northeast Kingdom town.

“I can’t tell you straight out whether there will be wind someday somewhere in Vermont because I’m buying land in other towns and other places for many reasons,” said Blittersdorf.

“If you move it away from the lake and out of sight, I don’t have a problem with it, but if you bring turbines, we’ll have a major fight,” said Bob Kern of Morgan.

It’s a warning from a resident who hopes when the sun sets on his generation, Morgan is just as pretty as he found it.

Right now, the project is under review by the Public Service Board. At the end of the meeting, locals voted 62-7 to have the select board try to intervene to stop the project.