Remember that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns plans to block out the sun? It seems the citizens of a town in North Carolina have seen it a few too many times. A proposal to erect a solar farm in Woodland, North Carolina, has been quashed by the town council amidst fears the project would “suck up all the energy from the sun.”


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According to a story in the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, the Woodland town council heard concerns from the public about allowing a solar farm to be placed on land near the town. During the meeting, several town residents expressed their worries about how a solar farm would impact everything from the town’s youth, to local businesses, to property values and the health of the local plants.

Retired science teacher Jane Mann said that she had seen plants near other solar panels which were brown and dead because they did not get enough sunlight. She shared concerns with the council that photosynthesis, which depends on sunlight, would be prevented and would keep the plants from growing. According to the story in the Herald, she also said that “no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer.”

Related: China and Pakistan are building the world’s largest solar farm in the Punjabi desert

Bobby Mann warned that “all the young people are going to move out.” He also said the solar farm would suck up all the energy from the sun and that businesses would not come to Woodland. Mary Hobbs, another resident, said her home is surrounded by solar farms that have reduced her property value, though a satellite view of the town shows that it is mostly surrounded by forest and farmland.

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An electrical substation near Woodland does make the area attractive to solar developers. Representatives from Strata Solar Company reassured the gathering that a solar farm would not cause cancer or suck up all the sun. In a superb example of democracy in action, the town council voted 3 to 1 against the plan and also voted for a moratorium on future solar farms.

At least for now, the plants of Woodland are safe.

Via The Independent

Lead images via Solar Trade Association, bicycle image via Ben Cavanna, solar panels image via Alex Lang.