Orange solar plan hearing Tues.

Staff Writer
Friday, February 16, 2018

ORANGE — The Planning Board will hold a public hearing Tuesday to discuss and hear opinions about a proposed solar array on West Orange Road.

The hearing will begin at 6:45 p.m. in the Town Hall covering a special permit request by the project’s developer, NB Development, LLC, for a total 13.7 megawatt array on more than 60 acres.

According to a notice posted on the town’s website, the project will cover two parcels of land, split between a 7.2 megawatt array at 110A West Orange Road, and a 6.5 megawatt array next door at 110 West Orange Road.

The first array at 110A West Orange Road, with “related infrastructure will occupy approximately 41 acres of the 175-acre site.” Next door, the array at 110 West Orange Road, including “related site improvements, with frontage on both Haskins Road and West Orange Road ... will occupy approximately 22 acres of the 36-acre site.”

Tuesday’s public hearing is an opportunity for local residents to voice their opinions. Following discussion, a vote is expected.

This latest project follows another array approved by the Planning Board last year. In late October, the board voted unanimously to allow West Orange Solar LLC to install a ground-mounted solar array at 180 West Orange Road, about a half-mile away.

With that, however, the board laid down seven conditions. West Orange Solar LLC must keep vegetative grass coverage on 75 to 80 percent of the property after construction is completed, including a 100-foot well setback consistent with Board of Health regulations, and not use blasting, herbicides, pesticides or growth regulators.

Currently, Orange doesn’t have zoning regulations for solar arrays, although the town’s bylaw has two provisions to promoting solar in any building.

Preliminary designs for NB Development’s solar project, as outlined over both parcels of land, can be reviewed at the Town Hall’s Community Development Office during normal business hours, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1 to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 7 p.m.

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