Harvesting the sun

Harvesting the sun

There are 41 comments on the Brattleboro Reformer story from Jul 31, 2010, titled Harvesting the sun. In it, Brattleboro Reformer reports that:

After 25 years of growing organic vegetables on his farm along the Connecticut River, Paul Harlow will soon be producing a new crop out of his fields.

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Allen

Newfane, VT

#1 Jul 31, 2010
What a great idea, I support these efforts 100%!
Sparky

Springfield, MA

#2 Jul 31, 2010
Solar energy in all its forms, electric, passive solar, and solar water technology should be actively encouraged by government and private industry.

One would also hope that as these common sense technologies become more popular, that we do not become too focussed on what is "politically correct", environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free, fair-trade grown, and so forth as our ethical conduct not just in business is proper, but also in all other facets, that workers are not exploited in any way, whether male or female or underpaid, that those who are not as professional in laboring as the H2-A Jamiacan farm worker, would also be able to work on farms.
Mike Mulligan

Roslindale, MA

#3 Jul 31, 2010
“The system cost approximately $400,000 and about half of the project is being paid for with stimulus money and federal tax credits.”

People are going hungry and without housing because we are giving grants to these solar manufacturers and installers, let alone it is jacking up the cost of all our electricity. Our tax money is going directly to the rich solar manufactures and installers than to people really in need.

I give you a clue, most of these tax benefits are going directly to the rich and not the poor.

I bet you Paul Harlow is considered a wealthy person and he hires mostly low income employees.
stanleystanley

Dover, NH

#4 Jul 31, 2010
I have to agree with you Mike. Solar is not a viable option because the return on investment is so poor that no one will do it without the tax credit. The problem is that the liberal press doesn't care about the waste of money and the incredibly poor return on our tax dollars.

Even with the tax credits which for someone like Harlow can be converted to a grant in the amount of 120 thousand dollars this year, the payback is out there about 15 or 20 years with net metering.

Solar has a long way to go before it is a good alternative energy option. Right now it is only an feel good environmental fad.
local

Springfield, MA

#5 Jul 31, 2010
You VY apologists are hilarious. Did you even read the article, stanleynukeman? With tax credits paying about half of the $400k, his cost is around $200k. If he is saving an average of $17.5k a year it would take about 11.5 years to pay for itself and that is assuming he gets zero dollars back from the utility for net metering. It could well be that it'll pay for itself much more quickly if it generates more energy than he needs. Meanwhile, all those years and beyond he is not consuming the resources that would otherwise be consumed to power his farm. Which means he is not contributing to the burning of fossil fuels and he's not contributing to the growing stockpile of highly radioactive waste being permanently 'stored' a mere tritium-leak's distance from the Connecticut River. I'd wager that his sun farm will be operating long after your beloved VY has been mothballed.

As for solar being subsidized - I'd much prefer something sustainable be supported rather than subsidizing more nuke plants as Obama intends to do, a necessity if you want more nuke plants since no business model would support building one without government subsidy due to the inherent risks of liability involved.
stanleystanley wrote:
Even with the tax credits which for someone like Harlow can be converted to a grant in the amount of 120 thousand dollars this year, the payback is out there about 15 or 20 years with net metering.
Solar has a long way to go before it is a good alternative energy option. Right now it is only an feel good environmental fad.
Mike Mulligan

Roslindale, MA

#6 Jul 31, 2010
The only way it works is if you live in one of the most expensive states for electricity...where Vermont is a real expensive state to purchase electricity.
the rich get richer

Dover, NH

#7 Aug 1, 2010
Harlows pays for their portion in say 11 years without green in the form of dollars from the Utility.But assume for a moment,the system has already figuired into it a sizeable amount of ample power creating ability,how would we know? Manufacturer wants all the $$ they can get,while the sunshines,pardon the pun.So why not oversize it?This $400,000 behemoth could be another fruit stand for Harlow's in essence where they get a nice fat paycheck every month for net metering.That system can be paid off a lot sooner.So if the system lasts 30 years with "minimal maintenance"what a payoff for them.Furthermore do they get to claim their $200,000 portion as a business expense too?How about a story on the what if's,like what Harlow's hopes to do to give back...
I don't know exact numbers of what homeowners get credited for setting up a typical average home solar system,but i'll bet it's no where near half the size of Harlow's.A typical home installation likely doesn't require any amount of power like that farm system.So assuming that to be true and i want solar also,what will it cost overall $15,000 maybe $20,000 to outfit my home?How many credits will i get?Bet it falls far short of 50%.Probably $1,500 if i was lucky.Certainly won't be generating excess power back through netmetering either,so no fruit stand for me.
Zyrus

Smyrna, GA

#8 Aug 1, 2010
Interesting.
stanleystanley

Dover, NH

#9 Aug 1, 2010
local wrote:
You VY apologists are hilarious. Did you even read the article, stanleynukeman? With tax credits paying about half of the $400k, his cost is around $200k. If he is saving an average of $17.5k a year it would take about 11.5 years to pay for itself and that is assuming he gets zero dollars back from the utility for net metering. It could well be that it'll pay for itself much more quickly if it generates more energy than he needs. Meanwhile, all those years and beyond he is not consuming the resources that would otherwise be consumed to power his farm. Which means he is not contributing to the burning of fossil fuels and he's not contributing to the growing stockpile of highly radioactive waste being permanently 'stored' a mere tritium-leak's distance from the Connecticut River. I'd wager that his sun farm will be operating long after your beloved VY has been mothballed.
As for solar being subsidized - I'd much prefer something sustainable be supported rather than subsidizing more nuke plants as Obama intends to do, a necessity if you want more nuke plants since no business model would support building one without government subsidy due to the inherent risks of liability involved.
<quoted text>
And you missed the point. How in the world can we justify spending $200,000 or tax payer money to subsidize a rich person like Harlow for a very marginal project? You liberals run around telling us that we must redistribute wealth and that the middle class is disapearing and the poor uninsured need health care insurance and you want to spend $200,000 on something we don't need. What is the value of the co2 not generated. Fifty cents? How about five cents.

It seems that you guys are all socially conscious about wealth until it comes to your pet project which is enviromental to you but only for political reasons.

I love solar. I think it is the future of our world along with fuel cell technology (wind will always be nearly worthless) but right now, until the technology becomes what it should it is a waste of taxpayer money to spend on inferior technology in the name of some weak politcal environmental message about alternative energy. Wouldn't the $200,000 have been better spent by the scientists who are going to come up with the breakthrough in cheaper materials so that solar really makes sense?

And I have nothing to do with Yankee.
stanleystanley

Dover, NH

#10 Aug 1, 2010
We have been analysizing solar for our business which is a larger electricity consumer and believe me the payback is poor and we have decided not to partake even with the credits because it doesn't make sense from a what's best for society point of view. We believe the private sector will come up with the solutions needed to make the solar technology viable. I have had this conversation with at least a half dozen advocates of solar including the people working in the currently subsidized solar industry. They all agree. Spend the taxpayer money on the research and technological development instead of feel good projects like Harlows.
local

Springfield, MA

#11 Aug 1, 2010
I agree we need to spend more money for sustainable energy research and have been saying the same thing for decades. Meanwhile, yes - I am all in favor of helping small businesses become more sustainable. (I thought that was something teabaggers are always whining about.) Large corporate interests, like the nuclear industry, oil and gas corporations, etc... get plenty of corporate welfare as it is. Let's see a little more go to the small business like Harlow's.
Adrian in Tacoma

Tacoma, WA

#12 Aug 1, 2010
Price went up when we shelved the original patents 40yrs ago...
Unbiased

Dover, NH

#13 Aug 1, 2010
How is the nuclear industry getting corporate welfare? Oil and gas get corporate welfare? What is it. I think they get tax breaks but other than that they don't get any investment tax credits that aren't available to individuals. I know this myth is rampant in the anti nuke and enviro communities but it is often stated and never articulated.
Mike Mulligan

Roslindale, MA

#14 Aug 1, 2010
It is called regulatory welfare...when the nukes screw up they make the feds pay.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#15 Aug 2, 2010
Once again you idiots can only focus on money. I'd love to be there to hear you explain to your kids why you allowed them to be born on a planet that is going to implode.
Anywhere

White Plains, NY

#16 Aug 2, 2010
are you alive wrote:
Once again you idiots can only focus on money. I'd love to be there to hear you explain to your kids why you allowed them to be born on a planet that is going to implode.
Only the truly idiotic would not factor money into the equation. Either you have so much, you don't care what you spend or you are living off the rest of us and don't care what we spend.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#17 Aug 2, 2010
Haha you can't even reply without mentioning money. Here's a hint..try looking at the bigger picture.(if you can see one)
anywhere

Dover, NH

#18 Aug 2, 2010
are you alive wrote:
Haha you can't even reply without mentioning money. Here's a hint..try looking at the bigger picture.(if you can see one)
All big pictures include cost. It shouldn't be the only consideration nor always the deciding consideration but it always has to be looked at. Bottom line, Harlow is getting 200,000 in tax credits - so every person in Windham county (47461 population) has to pay an extra $4.60 in taxes so Harlow can eventually sell us electricity. So a rich man just got $4.60 of your money and $4.60 from each of your family members. Will the cost of his produce go down or will he make bigger profits? Will your electric bill change because of it? Will that much CO2 be pulled from the air (include production costs of the solar)? Will the $4.60 I just paid have any effect on the earth at all? That my friend is a big picture.
Unbiased

Dover, NH

#19 Aug 3, 2010
are you alive wrote:
Once again you idiots can only focus on money. I'd love to be there to hear you explain to your kids why you allowed them to be born on a planet that is going to implode.
No one has said the world was going to implode. 2012 was a movie not a new report. The truth of the matter is that this was a waste of money...yes money...like the kind poor people need to buy food.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#20 Aug 3, 2010
Unbiased wrote:
<quoted text>
No one has said the world was going to implode. 2012 was a movie not a new report. The truth of the matter is that this was a waste of money...yes money...like the kind poor people need to buy food.
You are really dumb if you think that this planet will survive all that we do to it.

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