Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-09-2020

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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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JANUARY 9-15, 2020 NORTH SMITHFIELD 9 NORTH SMITHFIELD – After signing a $5.4 million tax treaty with the town in October, Green Development is on to the next stage in the approval process for a pro- posed solar farm off Iron Mine Hill Road. Tonight, Jan. 9, the company presents its preliminary applica- tion before the North Smithfield Planning Board, a key approval that could decide whether the project moves forward. If approved, the 38.4-megawatt solar farm would be the state's largest. The North Kingstown-based com- pany is now closing in on its second year of approvals for a project it estimates would take about one year to construct. When the project was first brought to the town in spring of 2018, proponents pitched it as an opportunity for clean energy that would generate close to $6 mil- lion in tax payments over 25 years. Supporters argued the project was preferable to heavier development between Greenville Road and Route 146 and would leave the land open to other types of development after the project is decommissioned. Despite the promise of clean ener- gy, many residents have remained skeptical about the expansion of commercial solar installations in town. Environmental groups have raised concerns about tree clearing for the massive project, while others have urged town officials to slow the pace of development in rural areas. Additional concerns raised during the project's master plan application hearing in late 2018 included the impact on local wildlife and poten- tial water runoff from tree clearing on Whortleberry Hill. The application before the board tonight is a slightly adjusted version of the one presented in December 2018. In response to concerns about wildlife, company representatives have promised to include a corridor for the passage of animals through sections of the panels. The com- pany also reduced the listed project size from 43.4 megawatts to 38.4 to avoid incurring a rule that requires state approval for anything larger than 40 megawatts. The new application also includes detailed plans for soil erosion and stormwater control. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. at the Primrose Fire Station and includes a chance for the public to speak. The agenda includes one other item, a plan to add 38 residen- tial units to the High Rocks condo building. Green Development solar farm back before Planning Board By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com A map that will be pre- sented to the Planning Board tonight, Jan. 9, shows the latest plans for a solar farm off IRON MINE HILL ROAD. The pan- els are depicted as color- ful lines. Consumers Propane 762-5461 BOUSQUET OIL 769-0146 139 HAMLET AVE. WOONSOCKET, RI 02895-0628 SERVICE – SALES – INSTALLATION OF GAS & OIL HEATING EQUIPMENT • Boilers • Furnaces • Hot Water Heaters WWW.CONSUMERSPROPANE.COM WE FILL GAS GRILL TANKS Take the next big step in joint replacement. Step 1: Get a joint replacement procedure. Step 2: Go home the same day. Introducing same-day joint replacement procedures that help patients recover from the comfort of home with no overnight hospital stay, thanks to the partnership between Ortho Rhode Island's first-class orthopedic surgeons and state-of-the-art technology at the South County Health Orthopedics Center. Learn more at OrthopedicsRI.com/SameDay or call for an appointment: 401.777.7000 Partners in Orthopedic Innovation +

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