, Salem, MA

Local News

January 14, 2013

Solar farm could power nearly 500 homes

BEVERLY — A businessman is hoping to build what would be the area’s largest solar farm on privately owned land off Route 97 in North Beverly.

The farm would feature 8,000 solar panels on 8 acres of grassy land next to Birch Plains Park, between Beverly Municipal Airport and Wenham Lake near the Wenham line.

The land’s owner, Stanley Bialek, said the panels would produce 2 megawatts of energy, enough to power close to 500 homes, 20 times the amount produced by the solar panels next to Beverly High School.

Bialek estimated the cost of the project at $6 million.

“I think we’ve got a good plan,” he said.

Bialek, who lives in Gloucester, has owned the land since 1997. He proposed building an elderly housing complex on the site in 2003 but did not get city approval.

The plan for the solar farm was unanimously approved in November by the Beverly Conservation Commission. The panels would be located a half-mile from Wenham Lake, the city’s drinking water supply, but the commission said it would not negatively affect the water supply.

The commission, in fact, said the project would benefit the area because it requires the removal of invasive species and the planting of native plants.

Bialek said the new trees would be more efficient at eliminating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than the trees they will be replacing.

“It’s a very clean, benign, passive use,” he said.

Bialek said he would like to sell power produced by the solar farm to the city of Beverly. He said selling to municipalities is the most cost-effective because solar producers receive a “significant” discount on transmission costs if they are selling to cities and towns.

“We do have a good-sized market that’s on this branch of the New England power grid,” he said. “Any city or town is eligible, but, of course, we hope it’s Beverly because they’re right here.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Children of Deported Parents Speak Out GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York McCaskill: Campus Assault Survey Is Wake Up Call Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game
Comments Tracker