Western MA Solar Project Could be Region’s Largest
A unanimous vote by the Pittsfield, Massachusetts CommunityDevelopment Board last Tuesday night could lead to the western citybecoming the solar source for the entire region, according to theBerkshire Eagle.
The board has backed the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WEMCO)plan to erect a solar facility on eight acres of land owned by thecompany and by the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, a projectthat would bring the state 1.8 megawatts closer to its goal of 250megawatts installed by 2017. WEMCO expects the plant to power 1,800homes and crank out over $200,000 extra in annual tax revenue for thecity. The proposed solar installation may be joined by a smallerfacility, to be constructed this summer at a state sewage treatmentplant.
The remaining obstacle in the way of the $10-12 million plan is avote by the local Zoning Board of Appeals on whether or not to grantWMECO the special permit needed to embark on the solar endeavor. If itpasses, construction could begin as early as May 1.
Aesthetics are a concern. Even though WMECO has said the solar panels won’t peak over the 8-foot fence planned to encompass the installation, a number of board members worry the city sky-line will be affected. The entire board also takes issue with the fence being the only obstaclebetween the unmanned facility and potential trespassers.
Stay tuned to GetSolar for updates on how this solar installation inwestern Massachusetts pans out.
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