Community meeting held against South Korean company’s plan to build solar energy facility – KPIC News

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HARRISBURG, Ore. — A South Korean company, Hanwha Q-Cells, is applying for a permit to build a solar energy facility on nearly 16-hundred acres of protected farmland and wetlands.
If approved, the “Muddy Creek Park” would go up on gap road — near Harrisburg.

We heard from a group of citizens called “Friends of Gap Road” about their campaign against the project.

Dave Rogers, a local business owner who develops wetlands, worries about the future of the area if the proposal is approved.

This is turning Oregon’s Willamette Valley into the Valley of California,” says Rogers, who owns River Refuge Seed Company. “When you allow them on farm grounds like this, I don’t think there’s any stopping them.

A town hall was held last night providing the community with information and pointing out issues regarding the proposed solar park.
Among the concerns–the chemicals in the land and a lack of “end of life” plans for the solar panels.

The presentation from the meeting was provided to KVAL and attached below:

Also in attendance was republican candidate for Oregon’s fourth congressional district– Monique DeSpain.

This is an example of grassroots activism where people who live here, work here, raise their families here, grow their food here, are demanding to be heard by their government,” says DeSpain. “I’m just learning about this project, and it’s really kind of unbelievable. You cannot make up hundreds of thousands of acres to be used for solar panels over some of the richest agricultural farmland in Oregon.

DeSpain has previously been outspoken against the ban on another energy source, natural gas.

Things aren’t set in stone yet.

Q-Cells is still in the process of securing a permit from the “Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council”.

Attached below is the solar company’s submitted notice of intent from May of 2023.

We reached out to the siting council–the secretary confirmed that, last May, the Oregon Department of Energy received a notice of intent to file an application from Hanwha Q-Cells.

However, the state is still waiting for the company to complete the application process.

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