Residents of New Jersey, a state well known for its elegant aesthetic sense, are unhappy with the solar panels installed on electrical poles in leafy residential neighborhoods by the state's largest utility company. In suburban Bergen County, locals call the panels "ugly," "hideous," and an "eyesore," in addition to protesting their installation with complaints and (possibly) vandalism, according to the New York Times.
New Jersey has a robust alternative energy plan that aims to secure 23 percent of its electricity from renewable sources within ten years--an ambitious goal that'll be all the more difficult to achieve if suburbanites protest the installation of solar panels on their streets. At the moment, there are talks in some towns about the efficiency of the current setup compared with how much the residents are annoyed by them--some say the panels interfere with emergency call boxes, or that spreading out the panels in this way somehow impedes efficiency (that part's not true, according to solar experts). But it looks like New Jersey's solar plans aren't in any serious danger: The resistance is only in certain small pockets of the state, and the utility owns the electric poles anyway, so there's not much those angry suburbanites can do. Maybe they'd prefer some ivy-shaped panels instead?
Yes, they are so ugly compared to the poles and pwoer line already there. I love how any time people try to put in wind, solor, or anyting like people start screeming "It looks ugly." I'm starting to think some people are just like "It's ugly!!!!" (with foaming mouth)any time they see something new. MY guess is that some people just don't like anything new.
Seriously? Some people just like to complain. They'll take any excuse to whine and cause an uproar (not to mention destruction) just make a statement. They don't even care if the statement is, "Look at what an idiot I am!"
I have a negative value of sympathy for these unenlightened troglodytes. Ugly or not, renewable energy will save us, a little at a time if need be.
"...just *to* make a statement."
Sorry folks. Got a little excited and forgot how to type.
This New Jerseyite think there beautiful.
First and last time I'll ever call myself "New Jerseyite"
Wow what idiots! Waah it isn't pretty to look at, well neither is 90% of New Jersey anyway so it'll fit right in with those narcissistic bastards. People need to understand one thing the only thing that works on this planet is renewable resources and the more idiots like the ones from jersey protest what is good and just due to aesthetics the faster I loose all hope for intelligence in the future.
Deal with it!! Sure beats a giant coal power plant with hideous smoke stacks that can cause health problems. If the have a problem with Solar Panels, bring them to my state!! We aren't a bunch of ignorant cry babies here.
Jersey here, I bet they found 5 conservative opinions from the abundant senior citizens in my town upset that something, anything is changing. The new Rutgers stadium and all the economical benefits it brings is probably a terrible terrible thing as well.
Free power? Sure I'll take it, why so small? Rebuild my roof Mr./Mrs. Power Company, you can use it for the grid.
I created a popsci account just so I could comment on this article. People in Jersey who calls this ugly and wants them taken off, seriously has no understanding at ALL about how important it is to use renewable energy. So what if its ugly, DEAL WITH TI! Just know your making the world a better place to live in. We should fill every person's house that wants these solar panels out, with some C02 and various of other toxic pollutions, then after a month if they're still alive they might finally look through their thick skull.
They could easily fix this. Just create half conical shaped versions and mount them to the top of the pole. :)
I never condone Genocide but Jersey would be my first candidate. For sure.
Why arent they doing this along the highway system?
Why are we living like back in the 60's?
Solar panels have been available for a LONG time.
23%!!! Thats significant considering photo voltaics are so limited and jersey is not the sunshine state.
WHY DO WE NEED NUCLEAR TO POWER OUR HOMES???
because we are all too broke and selfish to install renewable energy or even smart appliances and power management systems.
Im ashamed to be one of you.
They should put Pink Flamingo lawn sculptures on the poles next the solar panels. And then Jerseytards will be happy.
@OccultAssasin and you were doing so good until you wrote "loose" within the context of discussing intelligence. hilarious.
It easy to bash the residents NJ for reacting this way to attempts to solve our energy problems, but there may be more to this story then meets the eye!
First, few could say the single unit shown here in the photo provide looks non-offensive but imagine every pole on the main street of a small town with one of these units mounted atop. Still I’m sure many would argue that the ascetic loss is well worth the gain.
Well, property owners should be alert to this bold action unless they don’t mind another encroachment to there rights. The power and phone companies have been granted rights to place poles on private property to “distribute” power and communications. These rights say nothing about generating power from said poles. Will the property owner get to share in the profit when this system is complete? Go ahead and argue public benefit, it’s a slippery slop!
What next? Will the Power Company and then Phone Company place the units on the top of your homes because that is a better location to catch the sun? After all it’s for the public good right? I’m not surprised by the reaction posted on this comments board. After all the general public is quickly losing any concept of privacy in this electronic age.
Wow. Just wow. "Will the property owner get to share in the profit when this system is complete?" that's the only think you asked that has any resonableness to it. The question in that is who has right to the sunlight and if you have right to the eletrcity from the sunlight. It's not a slippery slop. They own the poles so they can put on the panels but nothing else on your property so they can't put anything on something that they don't own. The panels are no uglier than the poles they are on so that doesn't really matter to much.
The panels aren't ugly, in my opinion. However, aesthetics are not the issue. We have to begin to use our resources in a more intelligent, efficient and healthy manner. Period.
I don't know if the theory of Global Warming is correct. But it does seem as if there is some global climate change occuring. Anything we can do to mitigate short or long term environmental damage needs to be DONE. Installing solar panels on electrical poles is an attempt to do something. Brava New Jersey! What is being done in other states??
Love, Peace & Soul
I know it’s hard to understand this concept today, but back in the first half of the 20th century power and telephone poles did not exist. As the system grew landowners granted rights to the power and phone companies to allow them to place their poles on their private property. If you go look at any land deed that goes back far enough you will see a paragraph on the subject granting the rights if a pole was installed. The rights clearly state that the poles are for “Distribution” of power and communications. It says nothing about granting rights to "Generate" power. If you are will to say this make no difference then you have just given up on the concept of private property and the legal method in which it is granted.
That's not the point of this artical. The point is that people don't want they on not because of a deed problem but, because they don't like how the panels look. If they have any problems with them for the deeds then I say sure go for it. If you don't like the panels for not looking good then you are just stupid because we already have wores loking things.
What's missing here -- and I thought this site had something to do with "science" once upon a time -- is some evidence that the ugly solar panels actually produce any real benefit whatsoever for their cost and maintenance. Or have too many of you been reduced to a mob mentality, who will blindly agree with anything that's labeled "green" or "eco-friendly" without checking to see whether the label is justified?
Wow. While I am all for finding new ways to create energy, some of the posts here are pretty brutal. A few people have voiced the opinion that they find the panels visibly displeasing, but in some of these opinions those people are morons, idiots and/or should be killed in various ways.
Now that is your opinion, but if I do not like it, is it ok that I dub thee stupid, dumb and/or pump various toxic fumes into your home and laugh as you struggle in vain to find breathable air?
Post your opinion, but keep it clean. After all, isn't that what alternative energy is all about?
Having lived in Jersey for the first 25 years of my life I can easily see people complaining about this, there are people that will complain about anything. There's a plan to put windmills off the coast of central NJ and plenty of people are complaining about that too. In the end regardless of what is done people are going to complain no matter what.
Sure the panels might be slightly ugly who cares, is it somehow bringing down your property values, I seriously doubt it. Power poles in themselves aren't exactly the most attractive things going already so who cares if the power companies throw a few small solar panels on them, in the end it's probably going to benefit you.
Such acerbic comments. Beauty or ugly is in the eye of the beholder. And a homeowner is entitled to be concerned about the view out of their front window.
Those panels cost $1000 each and they produce a PEAK power of a whole 200 watts. Check out the news articles on the manufacturers website, petrasolar(dot)com Do some simple math and figure how long it would take to pay back that $1000. And guess who is subsidizing the installation of those panels? Note also the politicians visiting the company.
Solar power is free? What a joke.
Typical diversionary article: move the debate to aesthetics from the practical reality.
Questions not asked:
1. How much did each panel cost to manufacture and install?
2. How long will each panel last? Estimates I've seen say it takes the entire lifespan of the panel to make its cost back, meaning it saves nothing.
3. Where were the panels manufactured? China?
4. How much electricity will the panels supply?
5. 23% from renewable sources is a politician-driven pipe dream. Prove to me it's even remotely possible to reach that goal.
6. What will the cost of electricity be with this renewable added in?
7. What kind of pollution is created during its manufacture?
Classic irony. The same people who whine about "Climate Change" (aka "The Weather") fight every counter-measure with redoubled fury. Often the those measures are the very ones they, the weather complainers, proposed. That said, I think those solar panels look great, I wish my town could afford them.
I'll make it easy. NJ annual average insolation is 3.63kWh/day, so a 200w peak panel would produce 264.99kWh per year. Average retail cost of electricity in NJ is $0.1614 per kWh (according to eia.doe.gov). So in 1 year that panel produces a whopping $42.77 of electricity. $1000 panel cost, so it will take 23.38 years to pay it off, not including interest. Interesting that solar panels have a lifetime of 20 years.
I am SO MUCH BETTER than those unenlightened "troglodytes" with their pink flamingo lawn sculptures. I know what I'm talking about because I watched every episode of Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, and Sopranos. (insert Snookie joke)
Its clear that most of these commenters have never been to NJ. Good, because we don't want you here, and you couldn't afford to live here.
Bergen County, which is where these solar panels are being installed, has one of the highest per capita incomes in the country. I pay over $10K/year in property taxes to live in my nice quiet suburban town. So I think I have a right to complain about PSE&G slapping up a dozen panels on my tree-lined block and in front of my house. Especially, when I need to get a permit to do nearly anything on my own property.
I agree with the people who object. The panels are ugly, and there is no good reason why they have to be.
Windmills, of course, are much worse.
As a New Jersyan, I'm proud to see them. Who cares what they look like.
Good to know that there are only a few "small pockets."
I second BergenCounty. You guys ragging on NJ can just stay on the Turnpike and pass on by.
Let's find out how the citizens really feel about these political boondoogle solar panels on poles when the power company has to butcher or remove 100 year old oak trees or 40 year old white pines (let alone the 70 year old Yoshino Cherry tree your grandfather planted) because it is obstructing the panel's sunlight needs.
You should also see what some of the manicured corporate parks, like Johnson & Johnson off of Rte. 202, are doing by covering acres with these panels in an effort to get a state corporate tax break and/or a government subsidy. So much for the woodland & open field setting that characterizes most of the northern half of the Garden State.
Those who see this as a tradeoff between beauty and efficiency have got it wrong. Solar panels are *not* efficient, compared to more conventional means of generation. Rather, they're far more costly. The cost is disguised with subsidies that exacerbate the governmental insolvency that's dragging us down.