Wants to ‘clear up several misrepresentations’ about Candlewood Solar
Updated 9:30 am, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
To the Editor:
On the evening of Sept. 26, the Connecticut Siting Council held a public hearing at New Milford town hall where anyone could speak for or against the Candlewood Solar project.
As the developers of New Milford Energy Park, a 309-acre project of which 80 acres has been leased to Candlewood Solar, LLC, I would like to clear up several misrepresentations made that night about the project.
Just a few decades ago this area was open pasture used to herd and contain livestock.
The 309-acre park is composed of two zones: A 145-acre industrial parcel on Kent Road with only 20 buildable acres, and a 164-acre parcel zoned Major Planned Residential Design District, which currently permits the construction of a large multi-unit apartment project with buildings five stories high.
Of the 309 acres, over 200 acres will remain forestland, including the Blue Hiking Trail and Kelly’s Slide overlooking the Housatonic Valley.
Candlewood Solar has leased 80 acres within the 164-acre multi-unit zone because of its isolated location that is completely hidden from public view. Other locations were considered, but none were large enough and all were visible to the public.
No additional energy projects will be developed within this zone.
The 145-acre industrial parcel will be developed in accordance with the permitted uses of this zone with a focus on clean renewable energy.
The Candlewood Solar project will result in a 700 percent increase in property taxes with absolutely no town services required. No police. No fire. No schools. The $2.7 million (not $2 million) increased tax, flows directly into the town treasury.
Local contractors will be hired to prepare the site, erect fencing and landscape the property within and outside of the solar array.
When the project concludes its useful life, every panel will be removed and the site can be reclaimed as forest and pasture.
The power generated by this project will flow into the Eversource grid and will be distributed wherever it’s needed, including Connecticut, but more importantly it will be produced without burning fossil fuels that pollute our atmosphere.
The FAA has officially determined that the solar array will not pose a hazard to pilots that use the Candlelight Airport.
Our team has invested time, effort, and significant dollars in bringing this project to New Milford, and when completed it will actually create electricity from the sun.
My late grandfather, who was an electrician, would be amazed.
So am I.
William J. LaMontagne
New Milford Clean Power, LLC