Sitting at 866 River Road in Shelton, CT is an empty, 102-acre parcel of land. If USS Shelton Solar LLC receives its special exception for the property, 5.9 acres of that land may become home to a 975-kilowatt Connecticut community solar garden.
The subsidiary of US Solar Corp, a solar company out of Minnesota, filed a special exception on the land and is awaiting approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission. If accepted, approval for the construction of the solar garden will then be put up in front of a public hearing. Should the public have no issues with the proposal, it will mean a new Connecticut community solar garden will be constructed in the city of Shelton.
Currently, the property houses a capped landfill owned by Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority. USS Shelton Solar chose the site for several reasons, one of which is the amount of sunlight it receives. The location has no obstruction blocking natural light, which will maximize the production of the solar garden. There is also no risk to the wetlands or any local properties and the site is near necessary distribution facilities.
According to the application, the project is expected to generate enough renewable energy for 225 homes per year. Distribution should be simplified as it’s expected to connect to United Illuminating Co, which is already distributing electricity to residential properties. Additionally, the application states that, though the Connecticut community solar garden has yet to be built, the region’s public school district has already shown interest in being a subscriber.
USS Shelton Solar stated on the application that the project will be primarily solar panels, racking placed on concrete footings for prolonged stability, and inverters. To avoid disturbing the landfill, the project will utilize a ballasted system. Only Tier 1 solar panels will be used to conform to safety standards and quality control. Ongoing maintenance will be non-invasive and will ensure the garden is producing as expected.
Once operation is approved later in 2020 for USS Shelton Solar, it is expected to deliver 20 years’ worth of clean electricity.