Solar farm heats up in Westborough


 WESTBOROUGH —Drivers using Milk Street and crossing the bridge near Maynard Street may catch a glimpse of a new solar farm on land next to the train tracks.

With the installation nearly complete, this $2 million project will provide National Grid with an alternate form of energy, cut future costs for the owner of the solar farm and help educate the town about the benefits of clean energy.

Bruce Forrestall, who sells energy generated by the solar panels to National Grid, owns the solar farm.

“This demonstrates that a private citizen and developer can use property in Westborough (for a solar farm),” said Leigh Emery, chairman of the Green Technology Advisory Committee, which promotes sustainable energy. “I think it’s wonderful for the town to see this entrepreneurial project, and for other developers to see that the town building and permit process are in favor of solar energy projects.”

Back in 2008, Forrestall installed solar panels on the roof of his car wash on Rte. 9 near Lyman Street.

“It was a small project, but very successful,” he said.

Forrestall said the success of his car wash gave him the idea for a bigger project, and he discussed the possibility with Solar Flair, a Framingham company.

Over three months, Forrestall and Solar Flair converted the 2 acres into a 240-kilowatt solar farm with 860 panels.

Dan Greenwood, Solar Flair manager of business development, said electricity generated by the panels is transferred onto wires for National Grid and distributed to power buildings throughout the town. A meter keeps track of how much energy is collected, and that amount offsets the costs of Forrestall’s electric bill.

“The energy collected goes to National Grid and they give me a credit,” said Forrestall.

He said he will use the credit to pay the energy bill at his local businesses and property.

As for the town, Greenwood said homes and a local shopping plaza will use electricity generated from the panels. But he cannot exactly determine which homes will directly

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Taken from the MetroWest Dailey News

By Kelleigh Welch/Daily News staff

Posted Jan 03, 2011 @ 12:00 AM


About Southborough Town Planner

I am the Town Planner for the Town of Southborough MA
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