Ferrisburgh’s new solar array to be sited near town offices
FERRISBURGH — After months of research and discussion and a preliminary decision in October, the Ferrisburgh selectboard on Tuesday voted to site a 15-kilowatt solar array the town will be given on town-owned land near Ferrisburgh’s Route 7 office building.
The solar array was promised to Ferrisburgh by GroSolar (now EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions) and Green Mountain Power as part of an arrangement for the town’s support of the companies’ 4.99-megawatt solar array, which is now being built just west of the intersection of Route 7 and Greenbush Road.
Selectboard Chairman Rick Ebel on Tuesday described the site for the town array as to the southwest of the town building, behind the two parking lots south of the building. The land is not suitable for other uses, he said.
The town array will include three rows of panels, with each row not as long as the town office is wide, according to a company representative at an October board meeting.
The array will be net-metered, meaning power generated will go into the larger power grid and the town will receive a credit on its GMP bill. The companies will deed the array to the town after installation, which Ebel said could begin soon.
The board had looked at sites that included the Ferrisburgh fire station lot, different points on its lot on the junction of Routes 7 and 22A, and the southwest corner of Ferrisburgh Central School land, before settling on the town office site.
All were ruled out for a variety of reasons, ranging from conflicting uses on the fire station lot, lack of proximity to power poles on the Routes 7 and 22A lot, and wetlands on the school property.
In other business on Tuesday, the selectboard:
•Heard from Fire Chief Bill Wager that problems with the fire station’s septic system had been resolved with the replacement of a float alarm. As a precaution, nearby trees were removed, and roots will soon be, he said.
Conservation Commission Chairman and hydrologist Craig Heindel recommended annual inspections of the system given chemicals used by the department to clean gear, and the board decided it would be wise to have all town systems inspected annually and to obtain quotes for that work.
•Discussed at the suggestion of Selectman Clark Hinsdale whether the town should adopt a public shade tree policy to prevent further issues such as the current court case with the Vorsteveld Farm involving clear-cutting of trees in the Arnold Bay Road right of way. The board took no action, believing the court case could define public shade trees, but agreed the idea might be worth pursuing.
•Made formal its support for traffic signals at the intersection of Old Hollow and Stage roads with Route 7, as had been recommended by the Agency of Transportation after a recent study. The $500,000 project could be completed within two or three years.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected]
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