Monday, July 15, 2024

Greenfield Recorder – Residents query second BlueWave photo voltaic challenge in Northfield

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BlueWave Solar Project Director Mike Zhe and Field Engineering Co. engineer.  that Richard Riccio, both center, appeared before the Planning Board Thursday afternoon to share BlueWave's proposed solar array on Pine Meadow Road.

BlueWave Solar Project Director Mike Zhe and Field Engineering Co. engineer. that Richard Riccio, each heart, appeared earlier than the Planning Board Thursday afternoon to share BlueWave’s proposed photo voltaic array on Pine Meadow Road.
STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE—

NORTHFIELD — Residents and Planning Board members volleyed questions at BlueWave Solar representatives about farming and its eventual plans for one more proposed agrivoltaic photo voltaic array on Pine Meadow Road.

The photo voltaic firm, which has already been accepted in 2021 to construct a three-array, 26,000-panel, 10.9-megawatt challenge on the identical street, is proposing to construct one other array that can permit totally different strategies of farming the land owned by residents. Thomas and Patricia Shearer by means of an funding belief. BlueWave should safe web site plan evaluate and particular allow approval from the Planning Board to proceed.

Agrivoltaic initiatives permit land for use for photo voltaic vitality manufacturing, whereas nonetheless permitting farmers to make use of the land for rising crops or grazing for his or her herds.

Many residents have raised considerations about the potential of one other photo voltaic challenge on Pine Meadow Road – the beforehand accepted arrays haven’t but been constructed, as an extended enchantment case from 2021 to 2023 continues in progress – in addition to deserves. to construct photo voltaic arrays on prime farmland.

Unlike earlier preparations, BlueWave will personal this land, at the very least for a time period, whereas it seeks a long-term proprietor to proceed farming the land. Whether will probably be a land belief, nonprofit or farmer stays to be decided, however within the meantime, Finicky Farm is about to handle the farm and the land will likely be leased to them.

“Look at this challenge otherwise due to the vitality manufacturing … This is, at the start, an agricultural challenge,†mentioned Jesse Robertson-DuBois, the operator of Finicky Farm and an worker. of BlueWave, which responds to the resident. considerations. “The one factor that’s totally different is the vitality produced by a few of the constructions there.â€

The new, 2.5-megawatt array is deliberate to consist of roughly 4,368 panels on 25 fenced acres. The panels will likely be mounted on a single-axis tracker system raised at the very least 10 ft off the bottom, together with a concrete tools pad. There are narrow-format crop lanes for hay, grazing and specialty crops, in addition to 70-foot wide-format crop lanes for industrial farming. There is not any battery storage on web site, as BlueWave acquired a waiver from the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program (SMART).

Planning Board member Victoria Luksha mentioned there are nonetheless many points of the wind challenge, similar to a common archaeological research, and the outcomes of which may change the plan, including “I do not assume so we are able to begin our review†till it’s over.

BlueWave representatives and their legal professional, Tom Reidy, famous that many initiatives endure minor adjustments after being accepted.

“We really feel our software is a whole bundle and we wish to provide you with a while to evaluate it,” mentioned Aaron Simms, managing director of photo voltaic growth.

Many folks in attendance questioned the selection of this explicit web site, particularly if town has a longtime Solar Overlay District.

Police Chief Jon Hall, talking as a resident of Pine Meadow Road, mentioned he understands corporations like BlueWave develop these websites for revenue and that he is “not towards folks earning profits ,” however appealed to the Planning Board to hear. of residents’ considerations and take them under consideration.

“That street and that individual space is absolutely particular … we simply need the Planning Board to assist us say what Northfield needs,†Hall mentioned. “This is our likelihood to cease that state of affairs.â€

The firm, nonetheless, famous that the district accounts for under 0.7% of all Northfield acres and this web site has homeowners and farmers within the challenge and interconnection prices are decrease primarily based in proximity to different arrays.

“In any growth challenge, prepared landowner participation is the place to begin and crucial for achievement,†a BlueWave letter to the Planning Board reads. Company representatives additionally reiterated these factors at Thursday’s assembly. “The design of a given parcel for a specific use doesn’t assure that the parcel is appropriate for such use or accessible for such use.â€

In the earlier dialogue concerning the challenge being agricultural in nature, Selectboard member Sarah Kerns mentioned that “agricultural operational effectivity over pure, open land can be the best effectivity,â€

“You can argue if photo voltaic can go right here or ought to go right here,†mentioned Iain Ward, BlueWave advisor. “If you do photo voltaic, it’s a new design to permit agriculture as it’s achieved as we speak.â€

“They aren’t at the moment rising photo voltaic panels, due to this fact,†replied Kerns.

With a lot data shared by residents and the Planning Board throughout the practically three-hour assembly, the Planning Board continued the listening to till June 26 at 5:30 pm to present folks an opportunity to evaluate all the pieces.

Chris Larabee could be reached at [email protected].



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