To the Editor:
Marion’s Annual Town Meeting of 2012 approved a Municipal Solar Overlay District on town-owned land which includes the capped Sanitary Landfill on Benson Brook Road. It was explained at the time that the zoning change would permit construction of a solar garden on the 2.4 acre plateau at the top of the landfill.
Massachusetts has joined many other states in promoting the installation of solar arrays on capped landfills. After landfills are closed, as Marion’s has been, they are usually fenced off and abandoned except for periodic inspections and minor maintenance required by DEP. Many communities are beginning to use these sites for the generation of clean renewable power with solar PV installations. The work must be done carefully to avoid damage to the cap, but the town and the Department of Environmental Protection will require design and construction measures which will ensure such care. A good example of a similar project is Fairhaven’s solar farm on its landfill located north of Bridge Street, which we inspected with a representative of the Planning Board in 2011.
Marion’s Energy Management Committee has recommended to the Board of Selectmen that the town lease its landfill to an experienced solar contractor for our own community solar project. The lease would be a new source of income for the town. The contractor would work with the town to furnish locally generated solar power to local residents and small businesses. In order to move this project forward, please support Article 31 at the upcoming Annual Town Meeting.
Member of Energy Management Committee
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