Ferrisburgh picks site for solar array

FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh town officials have decided on a site for a small solar array that will be given to the town. 
The Ferrisburgh selectboard on Oct. 16 chose a site behind the town’s Route 7 office building for the 15-kilowatt solar array the town will receive from GroSolar and Green Mountain Power. The solar array will go to Ferrisburgh as part of an arrangement for the town’s support of the companies’ proposed 4.99-megawatt solar array near the intersection of Route 7 and Greenbush Road.
Potential sites had included the Ferrisburgh fire station roof as well as different points on its Route 7 lot, plus the southwest corner of Ferrisburgh Central School land. The school property was ruled out due to the presence of wetlands, and Selectwoman Jessica James also pointed out that area also serves as an outdoor classroom.
Problems with the fire station lot also cropped up. Fire officials told the selectboard a large area on the south side had been set aside for a helicopter landing area, and that they hoped to build a training room on the northwest quadrant.
Trees to the lot’s rear were not ideal for an array, according to GroSolar representative Lincoln Lande at the meeting, and road foreman John Bull was worried about another option on the lot, the front right, because the array might block the view of oncoming southbound traffic. Fire officials were lukewarm about the roof, according to the selectboard, and Lande said it was only large enough for a 10kW array.
That left the Route 7 town office building, actually the site that Selectman Steve Gutowski had lobbied for all along.
“I’d like to see it right in our backyard,” Gutowski said last week. 
Last week the board agreed. Lande will draw up for the board’s final approval a plan for an array he said will include three rows of panels, with each row not as long as the town office building is wide.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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