Ridgeway Planning Board weighs solar project on Swett Road

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 September 2020 at 9:03 pm

RIDGEWAY – The Town Planning Board held a public hearing this evening by phone conference for a 3.19 Megawatt solar energy project at 2800 Swett Rd.

Next Era will need a special use permit for the project. The company also needs to have the site plan approved by the town.

The company expects to hear at the next Planning Board meeting on Sept. 9 whether Ridgeway deems the project won’t have a negative environmental impact or if it could have an environmental impact and more studies are needed.

Some local residents have expressed concern about the project.

One neighbor who called in for the public hearing said it would be an “eyesore” and detriment to the community.

“It’s no different than having a junkyard next to your house,” the resident said.

He also said the town should detail the revenue from the project for the town, county and school district.

Bridget O’Toole, an attorney with Zoghlin Law, represents Ridgeway Residents Against Industrial Solar. She has asked the Planning Board to make positive declaration of environmental significance, which would require additional environmental studies from the company. She also has asked the town to deny the application outright.

The MRB Group is reviewing the project on behalf of the town. An MRB representative told the Planning Board that Next Era has diligent in working to address concerns. The company will have plans for landscaping, decommissioning and drainage, among other issues.

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