WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The planning board heard plans for a new large scale solar power generator proposed to be built on Western Avenue yesterday.
Rob Levesque, from R. Levesque Associates, spoke on behalf of Green Meadow Lumber and proposed the plan to the board. The potential solar power generator would help to provide energy back to the city and would be built on land owned by the lumber company at 994 Western Ave.
Levesque said that the plan is designed for a roughly 10.7-acre large solar array, along with two generators. The generators were reportedly low in noise and will only produce a light humming sound that can be heard only when near them.
The site is part of the Green Meadow Lumber property, and was estimated at “at least 1,000 feet” from the roadway, in addition to approximately 25 feet below street level. Levesque also said that the tract of land where the proposed site would be has several natural buffers, including trees, protected land and a river.
The largest concern for the planning board appeared to be whether the floodplain that the project is designed to cut into would be compromised. Levesque explained that due to FEMA floodplain design, the actual designation may change when his group further surveys the land. Additionally, he said that he would approach the conservation commission on Monday, Sept. 12 to discuss the plan with them and field any suggestions.
The group planning the build said that the project could potentially produce up to 2.6 million killowatt-hours of energy for Westfield by allowing the city to purchase the energy. Westfield Gas and Electric and Green Meadow Lumber are currently in negotiations.
The plan is set to come back to the planning board during their next meeting, on Tuesday Sept. 20.
Copyright 2016 The Westfield News