Solar array approved, construction to begin soon

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Planning Board approved a solar energy request made by Eversource that was originally proposed at a meeting on June 6.

The board is now in the process of preparing the decision, which will lay out the conditions and legal documentations of the Eversource plan.

The project consists of utilizing 22.5 acres of the Eversource owned 76-acre parcel at 68 Feeding Hills Rd. for a solar array. First reported by the Westfield News on June 8, there will be roughly 17,000 solar panel structures throughout the 22.5 acres with no current plans for the remaining 50+ acres.

Laura Lefebvre, Senior Manager at TRC Solutions, who is representing Eversource as the consulting firm, said that the location of the solar array avoids any impact to wetlands, buffer zones, and isn’t visible to nearby residents.

The Massachusetts DPU (Department of Public Utilities) had previously established a deadline of January 1, 2018 for Eversource to build a total of 62 megawatts of solar installations across the state and with the Planning Board approval this site and portion of the project can now move forward.

Eversource will complete the details of the decision with the Town of Southwick and prepare to start construction by August.

Eversource proposes 22 acre solar array in Southwick