Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NO. SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 NORTH SMITHFIELD 5 NORTH SMITHFIELD – A new solar project that recently broke ground off Pound Hill Road is being described as a "win-win" by solar companies and landowners alike who point to its reuse of a tricky property near Trout Brook Pond. Last week, state and local officials gathered to celebrate the ground- breaking of King Solar, a project by Nautilus Solar in partnership with Turning Point Energy. The proj- ect will produce 12.44 megawatts on approximately 70 acres and is expected to go online by the end of the summer. "This is a win. This is a win for everyone," said Jared Schoch, presi- dent of Turning Point Energy. The project resolves more than 15 years of debate between landowners and the neighboring Holliston Sand Company and Brookside Equestrian Center over access to the properties. In 2003, according to landown- ers, the companies barricaded an unmarked paper street that had previously been used by residents to access their lands. Since then, the issue has been the subject of several debates before the Town Council and a lawsuit filed in Superior Court. Cheryl Stone Bator is one of three landowners who sold property to Turning Point Energy to become part of the project. When Turning Point Energy Vice President Adam Beal first approached her two-and-a-half years ago about purchasing the land, she said, she and her husband were thrilled. Prior to the solar farm dis- cussions, they had spent many years in legal battles over access to and use of their land. "We couldn't believe a miracle had come to us," she said. Bator said the land has been in her family for four generations. Prior to the issues over access, she said, her family used to visit the property to pick out their Christmas trees in the wintertime. "The land was my great-grandfa- ther's," she said. Al Caron, another one of the land- owners involved with the project, also participated in last Wednesday's groundbreaking. Though his prop- erty includes frontage directly on Pound Hill Road, Caron said the nearby Landfill Resource and Recovery Superfund site had left him with concerns about leaving the property to his children. "Really leaving a legacy to my boys, I'm not," he said. "I'm leaving something that's contaminated." The new solar farm will be located on an area between Pound Hill Road, the former landfill and Brookside Equestrian Center, with transmission lines for the project running through Caron's property on Pound Hill Road. The company has negotiated an easement with Holliston Sand Company to access the site from the north. Caron said he plans to continue leasing his home from the company and living on the property until his son, Emile, gradu- ates high school. William and Penny King, two landowners who were involved with the debate over access, have also sold property to the company for the project. The project is currently the largest in Rhode Island's community solar program, which allows subscribers to purchase credits from the proj- ect for a possible discount on their energy bills. Similar to net meter- ing programs for municipalities and nonprofit organizations, community solar is designed for residential users who want access to renewable energy but can't install solar panels on their home. "We're at a point of getting these all to operate, getting the customers being able to use the energy and then assessing the benefits," said Carol Grant, Rhode Island State Energy Commissioner. Created by state legislation in 2016, New solar farm will resolve access issues off Pound Hill Road By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com Draft plans by Nautilus Solar show the location of a 12.44-megawatt solar farm that recently broke ground off Pound Hill Road. BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM State Rep. CARLOS TOBON, Nautilus Solar Co-CEO LAURA STERN, landowners CHERYL STONE BATOR and STEVE BATOR, GOV. GINA RAIMONDO, landowner AL CARON and his son, EMILE CARON, were among those who gathered on Caron's Pound Hill Road property for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a new solar farm on Nov. 13. See ACCESS, Page 7 Valley Breeze offices to close for Thanksgiving and different publication days HOLIDAY DEADLINES The Valley Breeze office in Lincoln will be closed on Thursday, November 28, 2019 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The news and display advertising deadline will move forward to Friday, November 22nd at 3 p.m. The classified line advertising deadline will move to Friday, November 22th at 5 p.m. PUBLICATION DAYS The Valley Breeze Cumberland & Lincoln edition, The Valley Breeze North Smithfield Blackstone Woonsocket edition and The Valley Breeze & Observer edition will be delivered on Wednesday, November 27th (instead of Thursday, November 28th).

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