Letter to the editor: Future of solar


The future of solar energy, (or not) in Goshen County.

It is unclear to me why there has been so much consternation and, outright contempt for the already approved Goshen Solar Project and the opportunity awaiting for potential future projects.

I appreciate the Planning Commission’s desire to “get things right”. However, the guidelines and rules this body has put forth for public comment will deter any company from considering Goshen County for future development. This was clearly the intent of the majority of the Planning Commission. It would be my hope the County Commissioners reject the Planning Commission’s recommendations. The Commissioners should adopt the solar project rules established by either the Wyoming Industrial Siting Commission or those that have been adopted by surrounding Counties.

Goshen County has long been one of the poorest counties in the state mostly due to not having the ability to benefit from the revenue generated by the State’s legacy industries of coal, oil and gas.

The renewable energy train has long left the station. Large fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell and BP have invested billions in the renewable energy industry. No matter how philosophically or economically distasteful renewables may personally seem, they are here to stay. With the approved solar project and the potential for more solar projects Goshen County can hop on the renewable train and create another much-needed revenue stream for the County.

It is estimated the approved solar project will generate several million dollars in sales tax revenue during the construction phase and additional sales tax and increased property tax annually. The approved project contains approximately two square miles. Goshen County contains 2,225 square miles. Solar projects are mostly innocuous to the surrounding landscape. Imagine the potential!

We should be embracing the opportunity for economic development and a much-needed additional revenue stream for the County and its citizenry and work with these companies.

County Commissioners have the responsibility to make sound judgements that will benefit the good of the whole. Our commissioners must put any personal biases aside and give rational thought to their duties. I urge everyone to reach out to our commissioners and tell them to reject the proposed rules.

If the proposed rules were to be adopted and implemented by the County Commissioners then I would suggest we revise our, “Welcome to Goshen County” highway signs and add, “Closed for Business”.


Todd Peterson