LA PLATA, Md. (AP) – A plan to clear 240 acres of forest for a Georgetown University solar farm has drawn complaints from environmentalists and Maryland residents.

The Washington University has positioned the 100,000-panel farm as a major step toward halving its carbon footprint.

Audubon Society volunteer Bob Lukinic tells The Baltimore Sun the focus on clean energy is laudable, but Georgetown should find a different site.

Audubon deems the site an “important bird area.” Residents say they’d like to keep one of the few remaining areas of contiguous forest.

Edwin Moses is with project developer Origis Energy USA. He didn’t provide estimates but said the farm would more effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions than the trees.

A Georgetown spokesman says an expert will assess the project.

Maryland’s environmental agency has yet to issue approval.

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