Blue Wave Solar has asked the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals to allow it to begin construction of its Phase 2 Tinkham Hill Road solar farm ahead of schedule – during the summer – before the specified time construction is allowed in the conditions of construction.
Neighbors have opposed allowing construction in summer; a time that they say they want to enjoy their yards without noise and dust. But Blue Wave was adamant that they would mitigate those issues, and on June 21, the ZBA approved Blue Wave’s request.
The board also approved Blue Wave’s minor changes to its original plan – shifting the arrays a few feet away from the abutting property line and additional stormwater management measures – while allowing for the start of construction to begin in July – 20 days after the decision to allow for an appeal period.
The hours of operation were limited to 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, with no weekend work permitted.
Blue Wave representatives said an earlier start was necessary in order to “stabilize” the work site, given that hydro-seeding would have been done too late in the season if the former construction schedule was followed.
The former start date of construction was set for Labor Day.
The Phase 2 solar farm site is 87 acres in size, and has been a matter of contention for abutters since the amendment to the Order of Conditions was requested to allow for an earlier start for construction.
In order to mitigate residents’ concerns, the Blue Wave representative specified that only an average of 3.4 additional trucks would visit the site each day during the 12-week construction period, and Blue Wave would order police details during those times to bolster safety and alleviate concerns.
In addition, Blue Wave would have the site watered-down if dry conditions persisted to keep dust from interfering with any neighboring properties.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for July 19 at 6:00 pm at the Mattapoisett Town Hall.
Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals
By Jean Perry