Proposed New Haven solar farm clears another hurdle

NEW HAVEN — The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) last week removed a roadblock for development of a solar energy farm off Route 7 in New Haven.
In July, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) issued the Burlington-based Cross Pollination Inc. a certificate of public good to move ahead with its proposed 2.2-megawatt solar farm, located off Route 7 at the Open View Farm. The fixed solar panels would be integrated with a livestock and vegetable farm and would provide enough solar energy to power roughly 77 percent of New Haven’s 650 homes.
Within 10 days that the PSB issued its approval of the project, New Haven resident John Madden filed a motion for reconsideration because he believes the project would ruin the aesthetics of the region.
Last week the PSB denied Madden’s motion.
The PSB included the following reasons for its decision: “The materials included in support of Mr. Madden’s motion do not point to any alleged error in the record … Instead, they are a reiteration of various news accounts, legal publications, and position papers that were included in his earlier filings in this case … Mr. Madden’s filing presents no persuasive reason for this board to reconsider its final order.”
According to Paul Lekstutis, president of Cross Pollination, the project is not in the clear yet. Madden still has 30 days to take his case to the Vermont Supreme Court. If he doesn’t, the certificate of public good will stand and Cross Pollination can begin work on the solar panel portion of its project.
Last September the farming portion of Cross Pollination’s proposed project got under way. According to Lekstutis, the farm, located between New Haven Junction and the Waltham town line, already has more than 92 sheep, 30 chickens, an alpaca, a llama and more than an acre of vegetables.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected].

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