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Athol planners OK solar project changes

  • PLAN REVIEWED — Members of the Athol Board of Planning and Development review site plan changes submitted by David Albrecht of Borrego Solar Systems Inc. Thursday at the Athol Town Hall. Left to right — Richard Hayden, Aimee Hanson, Chairman David Small, Jacqueline Doherty, Kathy Norton, and Athol Town Planner Eric Smith. ADN photo/Deborrah Porter

  • David Albrecht of Borrego Solar Systems Inc. with a chart indicating changes to a solar project planned on Partridgeville Road, during a planning board meeting Thursday night at the Athol Town Hall.  ADN/Deborrah Porter



Staff Writer
Monday, February 12, 2018

ATHOL — A solar project planned on Partridgeville Road has been approved.

Changes presented by David Albrecht of Borrego Solar Systems Inc. to the solar project slated for land owned by James L. Flecther have been approved unanimously by the Board of Planning and Community Development.

The ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation — one of a number in the works by this developer and previously approved by the board — was “tweaked,” Albrecht said during a Thursday meeting. He noted its revised design involves a decrease in the project’s size with the addition of on-site battery storage, decreased megawatt output, and a setback farther from the property lines with less tree clearing involved.

The project is now 17,000-square-feet smaller. Changes include battery storage limited to a unit the size of a shipping container.

Albrecht will submit paperwork to include this new piece of equipment for decommissioning.

Solar decommissioning template

The Planning Board also unanimously approved a proposal for a solar decommissioning template that specifies 12 separate tasks and associated costs for decommissioning ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installations, such as for removal of rack wiring, cable, panels, dismantling racks, removing and loading racks and electrical equipment (plus trucking), break-up and removal of concrete pads and ballasts, removal of power poles and fencing (plus trucking), grading, seeding of disturbed areas and any additional trucking costs (plus fuel). A 2.5 percent inflation rate is built into the cost (calculated after 20 years).

The document establishes a standard format for decommissioning a project. It reserves the option of adjusting the inflation amount in the future.

“Our intent is to have everyone on the same playing field,” said David Small, chairman of the Board of Planning and Community Development.


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