Main Road solar project moving forward

GRANVILLE – Progress has been made on the solar project on 1731 Main Rd. On February 11, the Planning Board closed their public hearing for the project for site plan review and approved the project.

Based on comments from an Michael Petrin of VHB, an engineer hired by the Town of Granville, the Planning Board saw that Petrin’s concerns were fulfilled by the developer of the project, Gale Head Development.


Granville residents are seen at a Planning Board meeting for solar in November. (WNG File Photo)

According to Rich Pierce, Chairman of the Planning Board, the next step is for the developer to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals to have a public hearing. Pierce said that the expectation is for the Board of Appeals to issue a special permit for the project. If that occurs, Gale Head will then submit the project to the state as an application for the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program.

Created by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the SMART program’s purpose is to build a long-term sustainable solar incentive program that promotes cost-effective solar development. If the DOER approves the project, Gale Head will then be able to begin their plans for construction.

Currently, the SMART program is at capacity for accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2019. However, Gale Head is hopeful that some of the larger projects throughout the state that are in the application process will be denied.

The 1731 Main Rd. solar project is on 4.96 acres owned by Charles Sheets and is considered to be on the smaller scale for solar projects. Access to the project site will come from Sheets Road, which is off of Main Road.

The Planning Board’s approval of the site plan for 1731 Main Rd., makes it the second solar project in Granville that’s been approved by the Planning Board. The other is located at 0 Hayes Rd. and was approved in December.

Pierce sees the 1731 Main Rd. site as having a great opportunity for success.

“It’s relatively small, it’s out of the way,” said Pierce, adding that the actual solar installation will take place about one quarter mile from Main Road.

For future solar projects in Granville, the only concern Pierce has is that some of the preliminary projects brought to town have been closer to traveled roads. The Planning Board will focus on looking carefully at any future plans that come before them and limit the potential impact the project could have on abutters.

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