2 solar projects in Ridgeway approved by County Planning Board

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2020 at 8:40 am

RIDGEWAY – The Orleans County Planning Board has recommended the Town of Ridgeway approve the site plans and give a permit for two solar projects on the south side of Ridge Road near North Gravel Road (Route 63).

The projects, west of North Gravel Road, would total 8 megawatts, and both are on land owned by Richard Fisher. TJA Clean Energy in New Bedford, Mass. is the developer of the project. The company split it into two separate projects because it is limited to 5 megawatts on a parcel, Mike Frateschi, TJA Clean Energy engineer, told the Orleans County Planning Board during its monthly meeting on Thursday evening.

One of the projects at 11074 Ridge Rd. is for 3 megawatts and would use 16 acres of a 70-acre site.

There will be 40 125kW string inverters and 10,946 solar panels for the 3-megawatt project. There will be 158 racks that are 8 feet high, 3 ½ feet wide and 6 ½ feet in length.

The project will have screening, a decommissioning plan and an access road going south that is 5,330 feet long. The planners said TJA needs to get an opinion from the county’s Emergency Management Office on the width of the access road. TJA is planning for the gravel road to be 16 feet wide, but Dan Strong of the Planning Board said 20 feet wide may be needed.

The 5-megawatt solar production facility would be at 11074 Ridge Rd. This project would use 23 acres on a 98-acre site.

It will have 17,524 solar panels on 241 racks. The site will have screening. There is already a natural tree forest buffer. Like the 3-megawatt project, planners put a condition on the project for an opinion on the width of the access road from Emergency Management.

Both projects are for land that is zoned Agricultural-Residential.