This was in the Hansard for the Provincial legislature for December 2, 2010:
Mr. Steve Clark: I rise today regarding a situation facing a number of residents in my riding whose water quality has been affected by the construction of a 168,000-panel solar farm. They are forced to drink bottled water due to work on this project, which saw more than 14,000 holes being drilled into the bedrock. The once crystal clear water in their taps is now a murky mess. It’s no surprise that they’re upset and worried.
It’s sad to see, yet again, how this government’s mismanagement of the green energy file has hurt people. Premier McGuinty’s costly energy experiments have caused hydro bills to soar, and the Green Energy Act is affecting people’s quality of life.
The lack of municipal and public control over these projects has led the township of Rideau Lakes to propose three amendments to the act to give municipalities and the public more say.
I urge the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Energy and the Premier to consider the township’s three recommendations: (1) to establish minimum setbacks for major solar farms similar to those for wind farms; (2) to force solar developers to ensure adequate landscaping to create visual buffers; and (3) to require developers to study the possible impacts on groundwater, including baseline water quality testing before construction.