Thursday, July 18, 2024

Community Photo voltaic can be a ray of sunshine for small household farms like mine: Phil House

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As a proud American small household farmer, I’m excited to assist House Bill 197, which can create a neighborhood photo voltaic program for Ohio. I’m asking Ohio legislators to do the identical.

Community photo voltaic services are typically referred to as photo voltaic gardens, and as a farmer, I really like that. These are native initiatives shared by many subscribers who obtain credit score on their electrical energy payments for his or her share of the renewable power generated. They present entry to power alternative for all, whereas constructing a stronger electrical grid for all.

A bipartisan proposal, HB 197 would set up a neighborhood photo voltaic pilot program. I see this as an funding in the way forward for Ohio and the advantage of small household farmers like me.

My spouse and I raised our 10 kids on our farm in Ashtabula County, the place we raised cows, chickens, horses and different animals. We develop a wide range of crops and hay whereas managing our small, forested space for sustainable harvests.

It makes me proud that Ohio farming values ​​are instilled in my kids, who like my spouse and I have a tendency the farm. Our farm is their classroom as they be taught to handle the land and the dedication and laborious work it requires.

If we’re capable of host a neighborhood photo voltaic farm, then my kids may also be capable to expertise firsthand the position that clear power, produced in our personal yard, can play in bettering our neighborhood.

As a veteran of the Iraq War, I consider within the significance of leaving a legacy. My religion, household and our farm are one of the vital necessary issues to me. We are usually not simply homeowners of the land however privileged caretakers, entrusted with preserving the integrity of the land for future generations.

I usually obtain requests to promote my farm. It was one of many final issues I wished to do. However, it may be a wrestle to finance a small household farm. Expenses proceed to rise, and revenue declines. The choice of internet hosting a neighborhood photo voltaic farm on a portion of our land will present a brand new supply of revenue that ensures our continued viability and success.

The photo voltaic neighborhood does not simply provide a monetary alternative to reap a brand new photo voltaic plant. It may also carry thrilling and rewarding jobs, financial progress and new tax income to my small rural neighborhood. Our roads are in ruins. Our colleges want extra funding. As with our household farm, bills are at all times rising, and so, too, is the price of good administration.

Community photo voltaic can generate an enormous windfall of latest income that may relieve a few of the strain on hard-working residents. Why not contain a considerable amount of non-public fairness – not authorities spending – and enhance our power infrastructure?

HB 197 encourages the event of latest homegrown power sources for Ohioans. Without this invoice, our neighboring states round Ohio will benefit from this chance. Our prices will rise and our taxes will rise, whereas different states reap the advantages from our lack of motion.

I used to be proud to attend the listening to for HB 197 earlier than the House Public Utilities Committee final September with my whole household to testify how necessary this invoice will not be solely to us however to all of Ohio. At the January listening to, I used to be shocked to listen to the identical utility corporations that proceed to boost our charges now declare that neighborhood photo voltaic will make our electrical energy costlier – a declare that merely is not true. as

Today, my land is a working area the place crops are planted, cultivated and harvested. If the Ohio legislature passes HB 197, my land may also harvest photo voltaic power.

Phil House is a household farmer in Ashtabula County, a union carpenter who works at nuclear energy vegetation, and an Iraq War veteran.

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