ROCKPORT — Boyle Associates and Pine Gate Renewables, the two companies working together to site a 2-megawatt solar farm on 16 acres of Rockport land, are holding a a community open house and informational meeting about the project.
The meeting is to take place Dec. 18, 5 to 7:30 p.m., in the Geoffrey C. Parker Meeting Room at the Rockport Opera House. The meeting is to be streamed.
Boyle Associates was hired by Pine Gate Renewables of Ashville, North Carolina. While Pine Gate is the developer, the applicant name/principal listed on the application filed at the Rockport Town Office is Samoset Solar, LLC.
Dale Knapp, who is a principal with the Portland-based Boyle Associates, and that company’s senior program manager Chris Byers, met with the Rockport Planning Board Nov. 21 for a pre-application conversation.
A diagram submitted by Boyle Associates depicts the solar array within a 12-acre fenced portion of the property. Knapp said that unlike other solar farms in the state, the solar panels in this project would be placed in the ground via i-beams rather than on large concrete ballasted bases, thereby keeping more of the ground and vegetation exposed. The highest point of any of the solar panels would be between 10 and 11 feet.
Pine Gate Renewables, acting locally as Samoset Solar LLC, is hoping to lease 46 acres under the ownership of Lexi Krause. The property falls under the town’s 908 district in Rockport’s Land Use Ordinance. Section 908.1 of the ordinance reads “the purpose of the 908 district is to preserve natural resources while allowing development which is sensitive to lake water quality, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, steep slopes and ridge lines to encourage the continuation of resource-based opportunities including blueberry production, farming and woodland management.”
He said that the electrical power generated would be connected via a three-phase system along Route 17 (Rockland Street.)
To site the solar farm, Pine Gate Real Estate LLC, also based in Ashville, North Carolina, would lease land from Krause for an initial 246 months with four successive renewal terms of five years each.
At the Dec. 18 meeting, a preliminary site plan is to be displayed, and members of the public are invited to come and ask questions about the project, the construction process, and the latest solar policies recently passed into law that are making this project possible.
The meeting will be an open house format and there is no formal start time; attendees can arrive/depart anytime during the event. Refreshments and baked goods will be provided.
About Boyle Associates
Boyle Associates is a Maine based full service environmental consulting firm headquartered in Portland, ME and specializes in natural resource sciences, project design, and permitting.
About Pine Gate Renewables
Pine Gate Renewables is a developer, owner, and operator of utility-scale solar farms with 400+ MWs of operational sites across the country. To learn more about Pine Gate and their mission to Get Solar Done, visit pgrenewables.com.