Solar proposed at Holliston Sand, Buxton Street

Solar proposed at Holliston Sand, Buxton Street

Plans submitted to the North Smithfield Planning Department show the location of a solar farm proposed on land owned by the Holliston Sand Company.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two new solar arrays have been proposed in North Smithfield and will be presented during a virtual Planning Board meeting tonight, Thursday, April 30.

The first, a 1.18-megawatt DC array proposed by Holliston Sand Company, would be located on the western portion of the company’s property near Slatersville Reservoir. The project would be installed by Rhode Island-based Energy Development Partners and considered an accessory use to the company’s operations.

The second would be located on property owned by Theresa Hill at 423 Buxton St. Virginia-based Hexagon Energy and Stonehouse Solar would oversee the project, which involves subdividing a residential property to create an approximately 20-acre site on the town’s border with Massachusetts.

According to Town Planner Tom Kravitz, both projects were proposed prior to the COVID-19 measures and were originally supposed to appear before the Planning Board earlier this month.

“We were ready to have a meeting for these, but then the social distancing started gearing up. You couldn’t meet publicly,” he said.

With the state now allowing towns to hold meetings virtually, the Planning Board has scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. to hear presentations on the two projects over Zoom. Representatives of both projects, said Kravitz, are expected to participate.

Though several other town boards have already begun meeting virtually, the format of Planning Board meetings have made the transition slightly more challenging. Amid the current measures, Kravitz explained he’d uploaded copies of the plans for both projects to the Planning Department section of the town website for residents to review. Last week, the Planning Board held a practice meeting to familiarize themselves with the format.

Both projects are begin considered for pre-application, the first stage of the review process.

“The real question with Theresa Hill is going to be because they’re creating a lot, the lot doesn’t have the required frontage,” said Kravitz.

With several other solar applications currently before town boards, Kravitz said he anticipates holding another meeting in May. At that time, the board will likely consider a proposal to build a nine-megawatt solar farm on property owned by David Gold off Mattity Road.

That property has been the subject of renewed interest in recent weeks after Gold announced residents could visit the property and use the trails there during the current social distancing measures.

In the fall, representatives of the project told board members they planned to donate 40 acres of the property to the town up front and the remainder once the solar farm outlives its use.

Plans submitted to the North Smithfield Planning Department show the location of a solar farm proposed off Buxton Street.

Comments

The Buxton St. location appears to be a heavily wooded area with a stream or two running through it. I am not in favor of trading trees for solar panels. The other location appears to be a logical place for them.

Anyone driving on rt. 146 notice the massive clear cut for the Iron Mine solar array. Anyone believe that is still considered a "Green" project???? Let's add some more to the solar capital of the east.

That moonscape surely is not a "green" project. Now that the land has been scraped clean of life, there's nothing green left.