Planning Board Approves Town's First Solar Farm
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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