LANDSCAPING A SOLAR FARM

Several proposals for solar farms have popped up around the City of Kingston one affects our neighbourhood directly. this is the proposal to build a solar farm on the land just north of Kingston Mills Road and Battersea Road, south of Edenwood. The city requires certain standards in landscaping and it would be wise to press the company and support our Rural Advisory Committee in improving the visual screening of the solar farm from the people that use the road beside it.

The planting of trees along the side fronting the road is useless if it is done as one can see here.

solar farm unity road treesThe visual barrier between the site and the road consists of a single row of small cedars, most of them have died during the winter. There is no visual screening of the site now and it the future since the trees grows slowly and when re-plated they start all over again from a very small size.

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It would be much better if the landscaping included a substantial earthen berm that hides the solar collectors right from the start and plant trees both on top of the berm and in front of it facing the road. This way one visually screens the solar farm from day one AND when the trees grow up it fits much better in the surrounding rural landscape. See this sketch.

solar farm berm

In this concept the berm screens the user of the road from the solar array and the trees when grown up enhance the landscape.

In this concept plan for making a solar farm more visually acceptable the berm serves as a first defence against the effect of a large solar panel array on people who travel past it and on neighbours. While the berm is initially more costly than a row of little trees, it is more effective and in the long run, in conjunction with tree planting provides a  much better boundary around or along a large solar farm.

Let us know what you think, and please try to be at the Open House that the company is planning to offer in the coming weeks. The announcement of that meeting will be in the Kingston Whig and on the City of Kingston website. We will do our best to alert you to this date as well.

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