Editorial: Diligence respected, move good

Feb. 09, 2013 @ 03:55 PM

Vance County Commissioners took their time, asked questions and sought to be diligent in their decision.

Ultimately, we now have an ordinance for handling the growing solar industry. Time wasn’t wasted. Within 24 hours of commissioners giving passage, the county zoning board was approving one of two expected applicants.

The second should be along shortly.

Government will never move at the speed of light, and that’s fine by us. We may have wanted our parents to do so, or the love of our life, but big decisions by those entrusted to lead does require time, questions, answers and careful thought.

The end result is what is most important. And we’re pleased that Vance County is moving toward adding another revenue stream.

Our farmlands and open spaces are valuable. So, too, are the tops of some buildings. Depending on the company and agreements in place with multiple parties, there are possibilities for helping our county fiscally and our world environmentally.

Make no mistake: solar energy won’t replace traditional power generation fuel sources. But our country’s energy future is finally coming back home and away from depending on world prices, particularly for oil. We’re not energy independent yet, and we may have a way to go, but we’re closer than we’ve been in generations.

Solar ordinances were already in place in Warren and Granville counties. Vance commissioners were wise to consider a plan from a neighboring county as a blueprint, a baseline place to start in crafting its own.

The counties of the region have a history of helping each other. Similar traits are within each in the north central section of our state. There is often opportunity to grow together.

Semprius’ presence didn’t create a prerequisite, but it would have been quite awkward to go much longer without an ordinance for solar farms.

County services and our tax dollars are often needed for industrial growth. Solar farms are little if any.

Solar energy is part of the solution to energy independence for our country, and it is now part of the new business in Vance County’s economic equation. We’re glad the commissioners got this one right.