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Will local control be lost? State climate bill likely to usurp authority over siting of clean energy infrastructure
06-20-2024 3:53 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Regional planning groups and local municipalities remain wary of the looming implications on municipal jurisdiction, should the state’s massive climate bill move ahead in the coming weeks with promises to reform the slow process of siting and...

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Residents question second BlueWave solar project in Northfield
05-24-2024 1:41 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

NORTHFIELD — Residents and Planning Board members volleyed questions at BlueWave Solar representatives about farming and its final plans for another proposed agrivoltaic solar array on Pine Meadow Road.The solar company, which already was approved in...


Montague charts out solar future
05-23-2024 4:25 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

MONTAGUE — As the state incentivizes solar to meet its mandated Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030, the town will likely see a significant expansion of solar power and proposals from developers in the coming years. With this in mind,...


Forum to be held Wednesday on Montague’s Solar Action Plan
05-20-2024 12:15 PM

MONTAGUE — The Energy Committee and Solar Planning Committee invite residents who want to be involved in planning for solar installations to a forum being held on Zoom on Wednesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m.The meeting will offer an opportunity for...


Proposed Colrain solar bylaw changes would add definitions, expand site plan reviews
04-19-2024 12:16 PM

By AALIANNA MARIETTA

COLRAIN — Revisions to the town’s solar bylaws that clarify what constitutes large-, medium- and small-scale projects and that expand the associated site plan review requirements are likely on tap for residents to consider at the June 4 Annual Town...


A celestial occasion: Franklin County residents admire solar eclipse
04-08-2024 5:53 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE andANTHONY CAMMALLERI

Franklin County residents watched in awe as the moon and sun reversed roles and our star took on the shape of a crescent during the so-called “Great North American Eclipse” Monday afternoon.For about two hours beginning at around 2 p.m., the moon...


Residents air concerns on clean energy, particularly solar siting, at Sunderland forum
04-01-2024 3:34 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SUNDERLAND — Residents and clean energy advocates recently got the chance to discuss all things energy with the top House member of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, with the siting of solar arrays holding particular...


Conway Planning Board OKs fee reduction for potential solar array on Roaring Brook Road
03-21-2024 4:35 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

CONWAY — As BlueWave Solar prepares to potentially expand its list of Franklin County projects by filing site plan review and special permit applications for an agrivoltaic solar array on Roaring Brook Road, the Planning Board approved a request to...


State gripped by solar slowdown: Worst year in decade for installations
03-18-2024 5:35 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Massachusetts’ solar development just had its worst year in more than a decade in terms of new installations, but Greenfield Solar partner Claire Chang says her firm that does jobs throughout the Pioneer Valley hasn’t experienced the same downturn.As...


BlueWave pitches another agrivoltaic solar array in Northfield
03-14-2024 6:43 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

NORTHFIELD — Town residents got one of their first looks at a new proposed solar array on Pine Meadow Road while also getting an opportunity to talk to the developers on Wednesday during a Planning Board information session.BlueWave Solar is returning...


Balancing solar with farms and forestland: Experts tout middle way in picking sites
01-26-2024 4:46 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — As debate continues over how best to develop solar throughout the state to help meet an ambitious net-zero emissions goal, representatives from Mass Audubon and Harvard Forest are touting a recently completed report that details how solar...


Montague solar forum being planned for spring
01-25-2024 11:21 AM

By VIRGINIA RAY

MONTAGUE — Residents will have a chance to weigh in on a Community Solar Action Plan and solar energy possibilities for the future during a town-wide forum being planned for the spring.Energy Committee Co-Chairs Sally Pick and Tim Van Egmond met with...


As solar array and battery storage debate heats up, Whately backs municipal zoning bill
01-19-2024 2:04 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

WHATELY — Joining several neighboring communities in the Pioneer Valley, Whately’s Selectboard has signaled its support to write a letter to the Legislature advocating for legislation that could allow municipalities more control over solar energy...


After appeal dismissed, BlueWave Solar project back on track in Northfield 
01-08-2024 1:38 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

NORTHFIELD — With the appeal of BlueWave Solar’s three arrays on Pine Meadow Road dismissed in September, the company is working with its project partners as it prepares to make progress on their installation.Stagnant for two years because of the 2021...


The state of solar: In final forum, experts debate best ways to implement solar projects
01-03-2024 3:17 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final article from the Western Massachusetts Solar Forum series. The first three forums took place in September, and another series of forums is in the works for this spring. AMHERST — Most experts agree solar...


PV Squared in Greenfield achieves unprecedented number of worker-owners
12-07-2023 1:05 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Rachel Levey admits January 2020 was not the best time to become a business owner, but she doesn’t regret her decision one bit.After two years of working in customer service at PV Squared, she decided to take the cooperative up on its...


Advocates back legislation seeking more local control on large-scale solar projects
11-16-2023 5:58 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

BOSTON — Local residents recently shared their opinions with the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on proposed legislation that would allow for more local control over large-scale solar projects.S.1319/H.2082, “An Act Regarding...


Ashfield seeks feedback on expanding solar
11-02-2023 3:47 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

ASHFIELD — The Energy Committee will host a public forum on Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss expanding solar power in town. Members of the Energy Committee have a draft solar action plan, came up with several proposals and will now...


Shutesbury couple hits agrisolar roadblock, seeks legal judgment on proposed Deerfield arrays
10-27-2023 5:58 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — With climate change a present threat, Michael Pill and Carol Holzberg have been exploring installing a dual-use solar array on their farmland.The Shutesbury couple’s project, though, has run into a roadblock due to the Agricultural...


Report recommends rooftops, parking lots for solar installations
10-08-2023 12:42 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — More than half of the land covered by parking lots in Massachusetts could host solar panel canopies, and almost four times that much rooftop space is also viable, according to a new report that urges policymakers to balance solar expansion...


Experts discuss challenges of increasing solar in marginalized communities, weigh in on community-owned arrays at UMass forum
09-25-2023 6:50 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Editor’s note: This is the third of four articles from the Western Massachusetts Solar Forum series taking place in September. AMHERST — At Joe Czajkowski Farm in Hadley, not only does the broccoli field produce fresh vegetables, but rows of solar...

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