Solar farm needs Rockland zoning vote

By Stephen Betts | Jul 03, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts This is the view of the proposed solar farm site from Lovejoy Street.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council will vote Monday, July 9, on a proposed zoning change to allow a solar farm to be planted.

The council will vote on an ordinance change amending the industrial zone to allow for community-based renewable energy projects. In addition, the change would reduce the setback from property lines for such energy projects from 75 feet to 30 feet.

The changes are being proposed to allow for the construction of a solar farm on property off Holmes Street.

An application was filed May 24 by ReVision Energy Inc. for a fixed ground solar array to be located at 62 Holmes St.

The property is in the rear of a large industrial building by the railroad tracks and also stretches to Lovejoy Street.

The review by the Planning Board -- initially scheduled for June -- was held off because solar farms are not currently allowed in an industrial zone.

If the zone change receives preliminary approval July 9, a formal public hearing and final vote will be held Aug. 13 and the ordinance changes would take effect Sept. 13.

The project calls for 912 solar modules, four solar inverters and a transformer. A chainlink fence would surround the solar farm.

Migis Lodge hopes to lease the Holmes Street property to erect the solar panels, Migis representative Jed Porta said in May. The lodge is located along Sebago Lake in South Casco.

Porta said in May that details were still being worked out, but the hope is that the panels will produce enough electricity to send to Central Maine Power to offset 95 percent of the Migis Lodge's electrical costs.

Porta said the project is expected to produce 311 killowatts of power.

The project will take 12 months to complete, according to the application.

A similar proposal was considered three years ago by Jason Philbrook, who owns the 2.5-acre parcel at 62 Holmes St. The project did not come to fruition. Philbrook had proposed 1,100 panels for a 350-killowatt project.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Jul 03, 2018 16:45

Solar is the future, especially to reduce fossil fuel dependency. Solar also helps with climate change demands. (Oops, forgot tRump says climate change is a hoax...)

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Jul 03, 2018 16:32

Why was Philbrook refused and this new kid on the block being allowed to enter the race to nowhere ?

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