CLARENDON — A solar developer that’s put two smaller projects in town is now setting its sights on a larger one.
On Sept. 17, Triland Partners, a solar developer based in Windham, New Hampshire, filed a 45-day notice with the Public Utility Commission outlining its intention for building a 2.2-megawatt solar facility in a corn field off Alfrecha Road.
“My sense is that this is one of the more ideal sites for solar that one could find because it’s a nice, level tract of land,” said Tom Garden, of Triland Partners, on Thursday. “It’s bordered by the elevated railroad bed and alongside that railroad is a high-voltage transmission line.”
He said the site is in a neighborhood, but will be screened from view by the railroad bed and power lines.
Dubbed “63 Acre Solar LLC” the panels themselves will only take up about 12 acres, according to the 45-day filing, which was sent to the town, the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and to abutting landowners. The project will be 700 feet from Alfrecha Road and at least that far from the nearest houses.
“Additionally, the majority of the Property will continue to be used for agricultural purposes and during the growing season the corn stalks will provide added natural screening,” states the filing.
Triland Partners’ previous two projects were 500 kw net-metering arrays. GE Aviation was the off-taker in them, said Garden, and both were purchased by GE Aviation’s parent company.
According to the filing, the 63 Acre project is to be enrolled in the state’s Standard Offer Program, a subsidy program aimed at spurring renewable energy projects.
Before it’s built, the project will need a Certificate of Public Good from the PUC, a quasi-judicial state authority on utility projects whose authority overrides local zoning bylaws. Developers are required to file notice of their intent to seek a certificate at least 45 days ahead of time. According to Triland’s notice, it plans to apply for a certificate in either November or December. Before then it will meet with the Agency of Natural Resources to address any environmental concerns.
According to the filing, the power line by the railroad track is owned by Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest electric utility, while the railroad is owned by Vermont Railways. Triland Partners has applied to GMP for an interconnection agreement and will seek the right to run a connection line under the railroad bed.
Not much will be done to alter the site’s topography, according to Triland Partners. An access driveway will displace some of the agricultural soil, which will be left onsite. The area around the panels themselves will be seeded and mowed regularly and bounded by a fence.
Clarendon Select Board Chairman Mike Klopchin said the board spoke with Garden briefly about this project but at the time didn’t dive into extensive detail. Garden and Triland Partners have been open and forthright with the town and citizens during the building of the last two smaller projects and he has, so far, heard no complaints or serious concerns about this proposal.
He said it’s likely that at some point there will be a public presentation on the project as its finer details become known.