Send your letter to the editor via email to Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.

Send your letter to the editor via email to Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.

LETTER: Summerland solar project will create greenhouse gases

Coun. Richard Barkwill raises objections to solar energy project

Dear Editor:

At the July 13, 2020 Summerland council meeting concerning the proposed Summerland solar project, I raised the topic of the environmental consequences of solar power versus hydro power and unfortunately council received misinformation and obfuscation. Strong words, I know, but there is no other way to describe it.

Research reveals that solar power creates five times more greenhouse gases than Summerland’s current and future electricity supply.

Furthermore, the Friday before this meeting (not in time for anyone to read and comprehend it), council released a less redacted version of the financial analysis, which showed that the net present value of the solar project was negative $1,631,413. According to this analysis it would cost $3,155,000 to produce $1,523,587 worth of power. And this is without considering the $2 million value of the land.

READ ALSO: Signatures gathered in opposition to Summerland solar project

READ ALSO: Summerland approves solar project

How is this justified? Especially when solar power produces more greenhouse gases than Summerland’s current and future hydro electricity supply? Are not governments everywhere in a financial crisis due to the pandemic?

The last seven years have been the seven hottest years on record. This is due to greenhouse gases. How many people today doubt this? Should not reducing greenhouse gases be our first priority, not adding to them?

Some might argue that hydro has its own drawbacks but that is irrelevant because with Site C, B.C. has a surplus of power until into the 2030s.

Others try to claim it adds resiliency or is a distributed energy generation system, which sounds like a good thing. The fact is a solar system that could only supply power for a few hours during a sunny day to a few buildings that were specially wired in provides no practical redundancy.

Nor is it a distributed energy generation system. These are premised on providing power at either a lower cost or with lower environmental damage than other sources.

The problem is that solar has an aura of being cool and environmentally friendly.

If you do not support this project, please email, and let council know. If you do support the project, please also let us know. I am interested in knowing what justifications could possibly outweigh the cost and environmental damage this project would have.

Coun. Richard Barkwill


To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Letter to the Editorsolar farm construction

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Okanagan Falls fire department put on an ice rescue course at Yellow Lake this weekend.
South Okanagan firefighters submerged in the icy waters of Yellow Lake

The local firefighters were taking ice rescue training at the Penticton lake this weekend

The Penticton Vees, the BCHL and Shaw have teamed up to support the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre through Shaw’s “Brighter Communities powered by Shaw” fundraiser (Mark Brett/ Western News file)
Vees, BCHL team up with Shaw to support Penticton kids

Fundraiser aims to build the community spirit of hockey while supporting local charities

March 1 snow measurement at Summerland Reservoir above normal

Isintok Lake snow measurements near historical average

Cannery Brewing co-owner Ian Dyck (right) presenting a cheque to Adolf Steffen (left) and Jim Cooper (centre), Director and President of the SS Sicamous Restoration Society. (Contributed)
Cannery’s Lakeboat Lager connected to Penticton’s famed S.S. Sicamous sternwheeler

The Sicamous is a major tourist attraction that has remained closed during the pandemic

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that's supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu. (Contributed)
North Okanagan MLA examining role of police

Harwinder Sandhu a member of special committee on reforming the police act

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during Canada Day celebrations in downtown Kelowna in 2018. (Contributed)
Emotional testimony from accused Kelowna Canada Day killer’s friend in manslaughter trial

‘I confronted him, and he admitted to me that he stabbed someone,’ says accused killer’s former housemate

Lakeboat Lager is a tribute to Penticton’s iconic S.S. Sicamous located on Okanagan Lake.
Cannery’s Lakeboat Lager connected to Penticton’s famed S.S. Sicamous sternwheeler

The Sicamous is a major tourist attraction that has remained closed during the pandemic

Photo courtesy RCMP
Salmon Arm RCMP officers seized a handgun and a quantity of cocaine during a search of a vehicle on Thursday, Feb. 11. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP seize handgun, cocaine in vehicle search

Two Surrey residents released from custody, investigation continues

Most Read