Our goal is to protect Van Zandt County's agriculturally productive land from being stripped and destroyed by Big Solar energy companies looking to make a quick buck from your tax dollars. Then leaving county taxpayers with the mess to clean up.
California based and Canadian owned Pattern Energy and Pattern Development, hiding under a shell company called "Old Jackson Solar, LLC", wants to use over 1,200 acres of productive agricultural land in Van Zandt County for one of their large U.S. Solar Plants.
UK based Belltown Power working with Dallas based Belltown Power Texas, is building on several hundred acres outside Ben Wheeler their industrial solar facility.
Pattern is a wind energy company and the county will be one of their training grounds for solar in Texas and the US. This San Francisco based company will lock up our land for 20-30 years with over 450,000 damaging PV Solar Panels that only work efficiently part time: during sunny weather in daytime hours.
Pattern is promising City of Canton officials and Van Zandt County officials big money once the industrial plant is built, but they are hiding the final site plans, refusing to produce any contracts stating they will clean up any damage, and hiding under a shell company so that if this project fails, they can shut down the shell company and leave Van Zandt County residents with millions of dollars in cleanup. Every promise they made in their single presentation in January 2019 they have broken or failed to follow through.
Pattern Energy has a history of failures, financially failing as Babcock and Brown in 2009, the Ocotillo project in California, and the El Arrayán Wind project. With such a poor record, why are City of Canton and Van Zandt County officials still backing this project? It is not even located in the City of Canton, but the Canton Chamber of Commerce and Canton EDC have welcomed them with open arms.
Tell Pattern, Belltown, and their out-of-town construction companies: No!
Twisted words and outright lies
We will continue to add articles, but find more on our Facebook Group: Save Van Zandt County
Originally, German and Romanian Solar Power Plant developers and investors created a shell company in Texas called GSE Eleven, LLC and planned to strip between 750-1000 acres of Van Zandt county land and install between 400,000 and 450,000 solar panels federal tax credits: your tax dollars. They want to sell the overpriced electricity to Oncor and cause your electricity prices to rise. The shell company was purchased by Canadian Pension Fund owned Pattern Development and renamed Old Jackson Solar so that they could hide under a shell company when this project fails. They are mobilizing to start construction.
Actually, the opposite will happen. The land will be stripped, between 50,000 and 70,000 posts will be pile driven into the ground, and solar panels containing cadmium sulfide and other chemicals will be installed. No one knows the actual lifespan for these panels and the solar power plant itself. They can only estimate it. That's why the land lease is for approximately 20 years with options to continue beyond that time. Questions remain about what chemicals are used to keep the land cleared, how the heavy metals from damaged panels will be contained and what happens to the plant after it has reached its end of life.
The stripped land, full of panels and surrounded by fencing will harm all the wildlife in the area including: bald eagles, deer, owls, hawks, and coyotes. Downstream and ground absorbed pollution will harm surrounding cattle and crops.
Most of the contracts about this solar project are kept from public view. What are they hiding?
This is a solar plant being built. Imagine seeing almost half a million of these panels every day as you drive down 1651. Then, wondering what will happen to your land and livestock downstream. Contact your County Commissioners and ask them to oppose this project and protect the citizens of Van Zandt County. Then ask City of Canton officials, The Canton Chamber of Commerce, and Canton EDC to fight against this project that will put the burden on the backs of county residents outside of Canton! Their actions or inactions are important.
Here is how to contact them.
There is no guarantee of an adequate tax return to the county, safety of the surrounding property, or cleanup after the plant expires or is damaged. The only guarantee is that the Canadian company behind this will make a big profit at the expense of Van Zandt County residents.