A new community solar farm has been planned for Bucksport Road in Ellsworth, ME. The proposal is currently in the early stages of development, with a sketch plan expected to undergo review in April. Approval for the $9.8 million project, under development with Ellsworth Solar, LLC., was received in October 2020, making it the fifth project of its kind to be placed before the Ellsworth Planning Board since the fourth quarter of 2020.
The Planning Board will review the sketch plan, which includes a proposal for detention basins and sedimentation. According to the proposal, the community solar farm will feature concrete pads for equipment, equipment for interconnections and electricity generation, an electrical conduit, additional utility risers and poles, and fencing to surround the arrays.
Based on the sketched plans, the community solar farm will require the construction of an access road off Bucksport Road. The gravel road will measure 20-feet-wide and will provide maintenance workers and emergency vehicles with direct access to the center of the array. Nexamp Solar, LLC. representative, Meridian Associates, ensured the sketch plans included the access by referring to the local Fire Department. The finished product will feature a turning area specifically for emergency vehicles.
The proposed site of the community solar farm off Bucksport Road includes a drinking water zone. To ensure the sketch is more likely to receive approval, the developer may have to ensure stream protection because of a stream near the southwest corner of the plot of land. If the developer is unable to work around the stream, the Planning Board will likely disapprove the sketch.
Along with the Ellsworth Solar, LLC., community solar farm, a dual-array project at Mariaville Road underwent review and were approved in fall 2020. In February 2021, Gilpatrick Solar received approval for a near 2-acre facility planned for Bangor Road.
According to the Planning Board’s schedule, it will review Nexamp’s sketch plan on April 7 at 5:30 PM during an online session.