New Solar Project in Walkersville ?


This is the site of the proposed solar array and the notice of a public hearing to discuss rezoning the land from agricultural to a solar facility.                

Josephine Sasse, Photo Editor

Coronal Energy has placed an application for the installation of a 135 acre solar center to create more clean energy for Frederick, known as Biggs Ford Solar Center.


They intend to use the farmland located at the corner Biggs Ford and Dublin roads. Coronal energy originally applied in February 2017, but they were denied. They appealed the decision, were rejected again, and are now applying for “floating” use of the land.  


Coronal Energy’s application was originally denied because Frederick County is trying to limit the number of solar energy projects that are allowed to be built on agriculture land. Due to this concern Frederick City Council created the “floating zone”, which limits the amount of agricultural land that can be used for solar arrays to 10 percent of its tillable acres. When Coronal Energy originally applied their proposal covered most of the farms best agricultural land. Coronal Energy will apply again with the requirements of the “floating zone” ordinance.


It is widely known that solar energy provides a cleaner and renewable alternative to fossil fuels. This project would be a step in the direction of making solar farms more commonly used. Also solar farms reduce pollution and are cheaper than traditional fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. It is also expected that the building of this solar project will bring an increase in tax revenue and jobs.


However are the benefits of solar energy worth sacrificing Frederick’s agricultural land to the building of solar arrays? Hayley Ross, a Sophomore, explains, “The more prominent issue right now is renewable, clean energy that won’t harm the environment, so they should build the solar project because it will be beneficial in the long run.”


On the other hand, some believe that preserving Frederick’s agricultural land is more important than creating a new source of clean energy. Frederick County is even creating ordinances to help preserve its agricultural land because it is in high demand for contractors to build new neighborhoods and corporate buildings.     


In conclusion the new solar array waiting to be approved and possibly built in Walkersville poses a topic of debate to the citizens of Frederick. Because some people believe the advantages of solar energy outweigh the importance of agricultural land while other disagree.