Solar panel proposed to finance the viability of Wareham farm
WAREHAM – A proposed solar panel for just under 10 acres of a 48-acre farm on North Carver Road is before Planning Council.
Bob Rogers of GAF Engineering represented the applicants, LSE Hydra of Connecticut. LSE Hydra has entered into an option agreement with owners Linda and Andrew Rinta to lease the land needed for solar power, with the remaining land to continue to be cultivated, according to the application filed with the city.
The site is located at 36, 44, 48 North Carver Road.
The solar panels will be located on three parts of the 48 acres – the first northernmost panel is about 2.5 acres of previously forested land cleared two or three years ago, depending on demand.
The second site is a 2.7-acre high bog that has historically been unproductive, depending on demand, and the third, southernmost site is a disused 4.5-acre U-shaped pickle blueberry field.
“We are trying to use solar power to finance the continued agricultural use of the property,” Rogers said.
The application says the site has been used for growing cranberries, as well as growing blueberries and beach grasses for many years.
Depending on demand with the city, cranberry cultivation will continue on usable bogs and the landowner will be able to expand cultivation of beach grass for shore restoration by planting between rows of solar panels. The landowner will also use the land under the sign for an apiary, depending on demand.
Planning Council Chair Richard Swenson noted that Council will need a report from the Conservation Commission to clarify any potential wetland issues before they can approve or reject the proposal. This is before the Planning Board for approval of the site plan review.
Linda Rinta and the farm received the New England Leopold Conservation Award 2020, awarded in honor of conservationist Aldo Leopold, who recognizes dedication to land, water and wildlife resources, according to a press release.
In New England, the award is presented annually by the Sand County Foundation, the American Farmland Trust and regional partners: the New England Forestry Foundation, the American Farmland Trust-New England, and the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative.
The planning board hearing continued until October 18.