Public Addresses Concerns About Proposed Barton Solar Farm Project

BARTON - The Public Service Board held a public hearing at the Barton Memorial Building Thursday evening (December 5) to provide an opportunity for the board to hear comments about the petition by Barton Solar LLC for a certificate of public good for a proposed solar farm. Hearing Officer Andrew Flagg emphasized the comments should raise issues and perspectives the board can use to make a decision. The comments do not become part of any formal evidence in the case; however they will help to guide the board in arriving at a decision. Evidentiary hearings will be held as the process moves forward. Those who would like to participate in the discovery process must file a motion to intervene with a deadline of December 13 to submit their requests. The board will then determine if the petitioner qualifies for party status.Barton Solar LLC is proposing to construct a 1.89-megawatt solar generation facility on a 25-acre parcel approximately a mile south of exit 25 off Interstate-91. The project will use 10-12 acres of the parcel with a buffer between the site and the interstate. A seven-foot tall black mesh fence will shield the facility from Route 16, and a hedge row of trees will border the southern property line at the request of Tony and Monica Menard. The electric power generated will be distributed by Vermont Electric Co-op, an amount sufficient to service up to 500 residences.Robert Grant, representing Barton Solar, said the proposal falls under the Rural Energy Initiative and in 2012 completed a similar project in Hartford, Vt. “The parcel has attributes that lend itself to the facility,” he stated. “It has access to a three-phase distribution line and Route 16.”Please see The Newport Daily Express Monday for the complete story.