Solar Panel Controversy

SOLAR THUMBDANVILLE- Scott and Joni Palmer of Danville were approached by a man who introduced himself as someone who is starting a solar company. The man asked Joni how she feels about installing a solar farm on their property.


Joni exclaimed that she loves the idea of solar energy. “I’m the biggest supporter of solar, better than wind, I love solar,” said Joni.

If you’ve driven through Danville lately you may have noticed a purple picnic table perched on the side along Route Two. The Palmers are using this to show where a nine-feet tall, four-acre solar farm would be on their property.

But the Palmers are facing some problems getting the project started.

Scott says that at an open meeting the select board was adamant about not having any public comment. He also mentioned a zoning administrator who asked the Palmers, “Could you have picked a worse spot in Danville?”

“I mean here’s a girl that’s supposed to be absolutely neutral,” says Scott.

Despite that none of the abutting neighbors object the solar project, some select board members question whether the panels only fit in the towns plan because it’s outdated.

The Palmers are most upset about the way is ordeal has been handled.

“They’ve withheld information. They’ve also provided misleading borderline untruthful lies about the project,” says Joni. “We’ve lived here for twenty years we’ve always been in the same district we know exactly where we are we are outside the design control.”

According to the Palmers, an onsite visit with the public service board was scheduled without notification to the Palmers.

“They had hired a school bus to board these people on and take them on a tour which was designed by the selectboard person who does not want this project,” says Joni.

The tour showed members of the boards different places around town where the future project can be viewed from far away.

On Wednesday night a special selectboard meeting was held to redraft a letter to send to the public service board. The chairman of the selectboard declined to comment stating the boards conflicting views on the project.

“If the Palmers wanted to develop free electricity they could put solar panels of their roof and there’d be no problem,” says selectboard member Angelo Incerpi. “But this is clearly an industrial development in our town and I think the plan clearly states that this is not where the people of this town wanted to go.”

The hope is this issue will be resolved quickly as the selectboard is now ninety days passed the deadline for when the town can put in a motion to object the project.