Large utility scale solar can bring big benefits to rural areas, but these misconceptions are stalling progress

By Madelaine Braggs, Rose Law Group Reporter

October 30, 2023

Arizona could revolutionize the local agricultural sector and re-energize the state’s rural economies with an investment into large scale solar utility developments.

New research shows solar panels could be a particular advantage for farmers and a sustainable solution to the state’s water management concerns. However, widespread adoption of the infrastructure is being held back by these common myths: 

  1. Heat islands from solar panel will warm surrounding areas and negatively impact crops– FALSE 
  2. Chemicals will leak from solar panels into the soil when it rains – FALSE 
  3. Solar projects will use too much water – FALSE 
  4. Grids with solar power are too unreliable – FALSE 
  5. Solar farms will pollute the earth when no longer in operation – FALSE 

Court Rich, Rose Law Group co-founder and director of utility infrastructure and renewable energy, served as moderator for the latest Pinal Partnership panel, where the state’s leading solar industry experts explained the science behind why these common-heard misconceptions are untrue and how solar infrastructure could be the missing piece in Arizona’s economic development future.  

“The sun is a free resource, so solar is a money-making machine. It’s really important to dispel a lot of these myths and educate the public on what really does happen when a solar renewable energy facility goes in down the street,” Rich said. 

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