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Sunderland solar arrays get resized

SUNDERLAND — The two solar arrays slated for the elementary school and public safety complex have changed slightly in size to accommodate wetland issues.

The solar array to be located at the Sunderland Elementary School increased from 159,500 watts to 363,660 watts. The solar array proposed for the public safety complex decreased from 395,560 watts to 204,160 watts, according to Town Administrator Margaret Nartowicz.

The solar developer, Broadway Electrical, a 75-year-old Boston-based company, decreased the size of the array at the public safety complex because it was too close to wetlands and in turn increased the school’s array.

The size of the parcel, or the footprint of the land, hasn’t changed from that approved by the townspeople at the special town meeting.

The town Conservation Commission is holding a public meeting today, Aug. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall to determine whether the planned arrays will impact bordering wetlands.

The proposed array at the public safety complex does border drainage and an intermittent stream.

In February, townspeople approved building two solar farms on municipal property. The solar farms are predicted to save the town $17,346 in electric costs the first year. Over 20 years, the projected savings is $400,000.

The two 20-year leases are for 0.62 acres at the elementary school on Swampfield Drive and 2.37 acres behind the public safety complex on River Road.

Editor’s note: The time of the public meeting has been updated.

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