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Planning Board Approves Town's First Solar Farm

by Bobby Blair
July 8, 2013

Richard Kase's 97 acre farm on Chestnut Street is about to receive 13,068 new miniature plants. Without the sun these plants will not produce a product. Like traditional farm produce, the goods from Kase's property will travel from 30 acres of present hardwoods, soon to be fields, down a long gravel road to Washington Street and be marketed to you and me the consumers.

On Monday evening in a unanimous vote of 4-0, the Planning Board, after closing the public hearing, authorized a Special Permit for the town's first solar farm. The solar farm which will utilize nearly 30 acres towards the rear of Kase's property will have 13,068 solar panels situated on 16 acres, the remainder being a buffer zone.

Mr. Kase (checkered shirt) had made it clear from early discussions with BlueWave Capital, a developer of solar energy projects, that he did not want to view the solar farm from his home. The closest residential abutters other than Kase's home lay on Wedgewood Drive a further distance than Kase's home which will be 1,000 feet from the panels. Mr. Kase will be leasing his property for a period of 20 years with an option of an additional 5 years. BlueWave Capital must still negotiate a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of taxes with local assessors) and also barter an agreement with Selectmen to see if the town will purchase power at a reduced rate.

No date was given as to the construction of the solar farm but hours of construction will be limited to Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Meanwhile Richard Kase might like to sit back and look over his open fields and enjoy the notoriety of being Holliston's first Gentleman Solar Farmer. A construction period of 120-150 days was noted at Monday night's meeting.

 

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Comments (11)

LET US NOT MISS BOAT ON THIS; ADDITIONAL TAX REVENUE FOR TOWN AND ACCESS TO MORE ELECTRICITY; SUPPORT SOLAR POWER!

- waterboy | 7/12/13 3:50 AM

Glad to hear that we finally have a solar farm in town. I've been wondering why we don't have solar panels at the transfer station (formerly the town dump).

- Susan | 7/10/13 6:57 PM

I'm all for a solar farm (or whatever you'd like to call it) but does anyone know what happens at the end of the lease? Does the company just move on, or is it required to dismantle the solar farm if no one wants it to continue there?

- Mark | 7/9/13 5:47 PM

The town buildings could and should generate their own solar energy. The town should only sign a contract with this supplier if they agree that energy bought can be offset by any energy generated on our own town building roofs. I'm not against the project, but they should pay the going tax rate, without negotiation, and the town should generate it's own solar energy on town buildings - in addition!

- say NO to the PILOT | 7/9/13 1:09 PM

The more we invest in renewable energy now the less we will have to pay further down the line when refugees from the Boston, the North Shore, Rhode Island, and the Cape begin to move inland from rising tides and more severe storms.

- Andrew Mades | 7/9/13 11:06 AM

And out come the tin foil hats. Once built there is no exhaust, no water pollution, no sound, no employees, no traffic. And you get electricity for 20 years. The nay-sayers will blow smoke, but this won't.

- JJ | 7/9/13 10:05 AM

As I have heard, this project will provide 60% of the electricity for all our public buildings including schools.

- Mary Greendale | 7/9/13 10:01 AM

More tax subsidies and higher electricity rates for the rest of us. And we should do more?

- john | 7/9/13 8:08 AM

I think the "plantification" (instead of personification) is simply referring to the way it recieves power. Now it would be really cool if we did have plants that grew metal. On the roof of the schools: I know that Mrs. Frost at HHS has worked on such proposals in the past as adviser of the old Environmental club. Might be good to email her about that.

- Andrew Mades | 7/9/13 6:55 AM

Steel poles and panels don't grow, and this is not a farm, it's a power plant. I'm not saying I'm against it, but let's not pretend it's something that it isn't. I hope that the town does not settle for a PILOT as the power generator should pay taxes the same way all other businesses do, and not be allowed to negotiate their taxes. And I second the other comment, let's get these panels on the roofs of all the town buildings!

- say no to a PILOT | 7/9/13 6:18 AM

The schools business agent should look into getting solar arrays on the roof of each building, and perhaps in parking lots like the new rink in Plymouth. There are firms which will provide the panels, do the permitting and install for free in return for a cut of the revenue stream.

- tpartynitwit | 7/9/13 5:44 AM

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