JAMAICA — Norwich Solar, which recently finished a solar project on an old landfill in Putney, has received a certificate of public good for a 500 kilowatt array in a depleted gravel pit in Jamaica.
When complete, the ground-mounted solar panels will generate enough energy to power approximately 130 homes per year and offset the carbon emission equivalent of almost 150 cars per year.
The array will occupy roughly 3 to 4 acres of a larger parcel that includes Kings Plot, which has four homes and pads for tiny homes. Previously, the Jamaica Select Board, the Jamaica Planning Commission, and the Windham Regional Planning Commission all designated the gravel pit as a preferred site for a solar array.
“We recommended that our Select Board endorse Norwich Solar’s application for a Certificate of Public Good for a solar array on site P00S-30 based on the project’s compliance with all of our Act 174 compliant energy plan’s solar array siting criteria,” wrote the members of the Planning Commission in a group statement.
When complete, the array will meet 50 percent of the town’s 2050 renewable source generation goal, according to the letter to the PUC. The Planning Commission is also encouraging Norwich Solar to look for other locations in Jamaica.
“The project is a win for the town of Jamaica,” said Domenic Mangago, owner of King’s Plot, which is located next to the Jamaica ballfield. He said the solar array will not be a disruptive neighbor for the residents of the nearby homes and apartments located on the property.
Martha Staskus, vice president of development for Norwich Solar, told the Reformer Monday they have all the necessary permits and will start on the project in the spring.
Staskus said that town officials have been supportive of the project and they hope Norwich Solar can find other locations in Jamaica.
“We have to find a willing landowner and a site you can interconnect near three-phase power,” she said.
Norwich Solar develops several different types of commercial solar projects including on-site solar for businesses or municipalities, as well as community solar projects like this one in Jamaica.
Recently, Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. LLC, an investment manager and independent power producer, purchased several of Norwich Solar’s pre-operational solar projects, including Putney Green Acres, and arrays in Andover and Thetford.
The portfolio represents Greenbacker’s first transaction with Norwich, a developer and designer as well as engineering, procurement, and construction provider of clean energy projects throughout New England.
The projects have long-term net metering agreements in place with over 30 local farms and dairies across the state. Each solar project is expected, on average, to save local farmers approximately $500,000 on energy costs over the lifecycle of the projects, according to Greenbacker.
For more information about projects under development by Norwich Solar, go to norwichsolar.com/solar-installation-in-development.