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Solar farm planned for Deerfield rail yard

  • Stock image of a solar array. Courtesy of Metro Creative Graphics. Metro Creative Graphics

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/27/2018 9:32:22 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A group indirectly representing Pan Am Railways is looking to build a 20-acre solar farm at the site of the East Deerfield rail yard, which has undergone years of oversight by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection over pollution on the land.

A consulting firm out of Boston presented plans for the 2.7-megawatt solar farm to the Deerfield Conservation Commission Thursday evening, the first time the idea has come before the town.

“There’s some contamination out there,” consultant Katie Wolf for Environmental Resource Management told the commission. “We feel this is some very good land use.”

The state agency sent a fairly generic letter to the commission stating a few pieces of the plan that need further research. Based on that, the commission voted to ask the consultants return after they have answered those questions, about things like drainage, stump removal and the building of a gravel road.

There are no current proposed changes for the right of way of the rails or buildings around the area. The solar farm would be about 20 acres, but divided into two sections, separated by wetlands with a proposed 100-foot buffers.

Environmental Resource Management is contracted by the company that is leasing the property from Pan Am, for the purposes of solar farming, Wolf said.

The group may come back to the next Conservation Commission meeting in late August or, if it doesn’t have its work lined up by then, to the following meeting in late September. After a nod of approval from the commission, the project could go on to the Planning Board.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: or

413-772-0261, ext. 264

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