Public information session set for Bucksport Road solar energy field

ELLSWORTH — A representative for a proposed 45-acre solar energy facility off Bucksport Road met with the Planning Board April 7, ahead of a public informational session scheduled for April 19.

“It’s a pretty simple site for solar sites,” said Chris Ryan of Meridian Associates, which is representing Nexamp, the Boston-headquartered firm behind the project.

Nexamp Solar LLC is seeking approval for a 45-acre ground-mounted array on a 94.6-acre parcel at a development cost estimated at $11 million to $12 million. Ryan said the 4.9-megawatt array would hold around 12,000 panels in a free-standing array with no onsite power storage.

Located partly in the rural district and mostly in the drinking water district, a stream runs through a section of the parcel, making a portion of the site subject to stream protection.

“Does any of this impact the stream?” Planning Board Chairman John Fink asked.

“I expect that’s a question more for an environmental consultant. But there’ll be no direct impacts on the stream,” Ryan said, noting a 75-foot stream buffer at all points in the plan. In addition, he is working with an environmental consultant on a natural resource permit application for the Department of Environmental Protection.

An existing access road will be widened to 20 feet, Ryan said, and a Maine Department of Transportation permit should be included with the preliminary site development application. A Department of Environmental Protection approval for the decommissioning plan is also still to come.

In addition, abutters need to be notified, including the homeowner association for Village Way. 

“This is a property of about 130 acres that is right adjacent to the lot they’re looking to develop,” board member Rick Lyles noted.

The April 19 public informational session will be held via the Zoom streaming platform, with the next step being a board review of a preliminary site development application. 

Anne Berleant

Anne Berleant

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Anne Berleant covers news and features in Ellsworth, Mariaville, Otis, Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn. When not reporting, find her hiking local trails, reading or watching professional tennis. Email her at [email protected]

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