SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 14, 2013

Solar farm could power nearly 500 homes

(Continued)

Mayor Bill Scanlon said the city has not been approached by Bialek about becoming a customer, “but we are certainly willing to have such discussions.”

As for the solar farm project itself, Scanlon said, “It’s not particularly invasive, and we certainly are very much in favor of the proliferation of solar.”

Bialek’s property is 60 acres, but the solar farm would only occupy 8 acres, he said. The panels would be mounted in sloping field and would range in height from 2 to 9 feet. There would be 20 panels each on 400 racks, for a total of 8,000.

Bialek said the panels would be located toward the middle of the wooded property and would not be visible from Route 97. It would be surrounded by a “wildlife-friendly” security fence.

Bialek said he would apply for federal tax credits and state energy credits that are available for solar projects.

The project must still be approved locally by the city’s Planning Board, which has a public hearing scheduled tomorrow. Bialek said he continues to seek financial backing and also needs approval to hook up to nearby power lines.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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