Planning Board approves second solar project site plan

GRANVILLE – The Planning Board approved the reviewed site plan for the proposed solar project on 0 Hayes Rd. during a continued public hearing last week.

The specifics of the project includes a large-scale ground mounted solar installation of 25 acres on property owned by Charles Sheets.

The Granville Planning Board is seen listening to Gale Head’s presentation at a public hearing in October. (WNG File Photo)

According to information from Gale Head, a Boston-based renewable energy contrator, the project site will be 2,300 ft. from Main Road which is Rt. 57. There are also no direct residential abutters and the nearest residential dwelling is 1,000 ft. away.

The site plan from Gale Head also indicates that along with there being no public site lines, there will also be no natural resources that will require mitigation from the solar array.

Gale Head is proposing this project under the SMART (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target) program, which was created by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in 2016. SMART has been formed to create a long term and sustainable solar incentive program that promotes solar projects that are cost effective throughout Massachusetts.

When this program came to fruition with the state, Granville decided to pursue the program and allow development organizations to propose solar projects in town. Planning Board Chairman Rich Pierce added that Granville will now have the opportunity to receive credits towards grants.

Since the Granville town bylaw restricts solar projects being larger than five acres, Gale Head has already gone to the Zoning Board of Appeals and were given a variance to go to the Planning Board for a special permit.

The approval of the site plan from the Planning Board comes with conditions. Gale Head will now have to go back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for another public hearing, as they are the town authority who would issue the special permit. Pierce added that the Zoning Board would be receiving the Planning Board’s report of their meeting on Monday so they can move forward.

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