There has been a lot of opposition to the proposed solar array at the Cape Cod Country Club. This is understandable. Golfers have enjoyed the place for years, it has a rich and interesting history, it offers vistas of open space. It has for years been a quietly attractive part of Hatchville.
It would nice if owner David Friel wanted to keep it and operate it as a golf course. But he doesn’t. The course has, he said, returned declining revenue for the past 10 years. Some argue that there are not too many golf courses on the Cape and that the industry in general is doing well. But if Mr. Friel’s course isn’t making money for him, all the arguments in the world won’t change that.
Mr. Friel doesn’t have to enter a deal with Amp Energy, which plans to build the solar array. He could develop housing or sell it to a developer who would do that. A lot of houses could be built on 140 acres. So with all the anguish about losing a golf course and open space, it really comes down to whether a solar array is preferable to housing.
Chris Neill in his column last week made a very strong case for a solar array on the site. Trees will be cut down, but the carbon they would sequester is nothing compared to the carbon that would no longer be released into the atmosphere once the solar array is operational.
There are plenty of arguments here, and we are not going to put any of them to rest. There is no outcome that could make everyone happy. A super wealthy golf enthusiast could step in and buy the course, and that would leave solar energy enthusiasts disappointed.
It’s too bad. It would be nice if time could somehow be frozen and change a foreign concept. But the passage of time and change are among the few things one can count on. So maybe we should begin to plan for that.