Solar Panels Trump Trees

Calif. man forced to cut down redwoods so neighbor can tap sun's energy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 5:43 PM CDT
Richard Treanor shows the trees in the backyard of his home in Sunnyvale, Calif., Friday, Feb. 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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(Newser) – A dispute between California neighbors pitting trees against solar panels has gone to the panels, KGO-TV reports. Following a seven-year battle over whether one should have to cut down trees in his backyard that shade the other’s solar panels, Richard Treanor today chopped two redwoods after he was found guilty of violating the Solar Shade Control Act of 1978.

“Nobody is against solar here. We just want some clarity of thinking. Let's just be respectful of all the parties’ interests," said the Silicon Valley resident, who added he can't afford further legal appeals. The dispute has prompted a state legislator to propose a measure giving priority to whichever came first—but too late to help Treanor’s trees.