Wareham Zoning Board approves large solar project off Charge Pond Road

By Matthew Bernat | Dec 27, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Attorney Richard Serkey and Bluewave Capital Project Manager Lexi Barlow appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals seeking approval for a solar facility off Charge Pond Road.

Construction on a massive solar energy facility slated for open space off Charge Pond Road is scheduled to be finished this spring after the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the project Wednesday night.

The approval process started in October when representatives from Bluewave Capital first appeared before the Planning Board. The Boston-based solar developer plans to install 32,724 solar panels in four different arrays on land near the intersection of Route 25 and Charge Pond Road.

The panels will generate roughly 12 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power approximately 490 medium-sized homes. The area is home to a mix of cranberry bogs and forests.

Attorney Richard Serkey, representing Bluewave Capital, and Lexi Barlow, a project manager for Bluewave Capital, appeared before board members Wednesday night for final approval.

Barlow said work on the project will begin once the decision’s 20-appeal period expires. She estimated that the project will be “mechanically complete” by this spring.

At previous meetings, members expressed concerns regarding screening measures. Others said clearing the land, which is home to an array of wildlife, would have a negative impact on habitat.

Bluewave officials addressed the screening concerns in plans, assuring board members that an appropriate buffer will be put in place. They also noted there are no homes within sight of the arrays.

The project also received approvals from the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission.

Comments (12)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Dec 27, 2017 21:25

It's good that no homes are within sight.  Not too good for the critters that will lose their habitat.  Hopefully the screening will be better than the vegetated berm on Toby Road. That little hydro seeded bump isn't going to hide much unless that grass grows really tall.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Dec 28, 2017 07:28

Thought the same thing about the berm on Tobey Rd. It does nothing to hide that disaster. Town should shut it down and mandate shrubs be planted to hide that mess. Its a safety hazard, driving by its like a train wreck and you have to look which causes distractions and glare off panels blinds you.

Posted by: cranky pants | Dec 28, 2017 07:31

Sweet, with all these solar arrays being setup in Wareham our electricity bills should be seeing some great reductions...

... Nevermind.

Posted by: desertsky | Dec 28, 2017 08:06

If anyone thinks they will see a reduction in their own personal electric bills by having these eyesores in our face, they're nuts! Just keep waiting ...and waiting...

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Dec 28, 2017 09:29

Hopefully (maybe wishful thinking) the hydro seed grass is just to stabilize the berm along Toby Road.  Then in the spring they will plant a row of dense arborvitae or something.  I thought the berm itself was going to form the screening, but that was a silly thought.

Posted by: TOOTTOOT1 | Dec 28, 2017 11:41

Maybe they can repave Charge Pond Road and repair the 5 of 8 non working street lights.

On another subject what will the town collect in taxes, as now we will have another installation for our public safety people to respond to.

Posted by: Just Me1 | Dec 29, 2017 08:50

Is there a tax rebate for Bluewave, too? What about a bond to assure removal of the obsolete components when the project's life is over?

Posted by: barnstorm | Dec 29, 2017 09:33

Just a suggestion to all the whining "snowflakes" who can't stand looking at the solar panels on Tobey Rd..............Use the main entrance off Cranberry Hwy. when coming in or exiting and you are spared "THE HORROR" of observing those panels. It brings a smile to my face every day as I travel up Tobey Rd. knowing it irritates you guys.......GO GREEN!

Posted by: barnstorm | Dec 29, 2017 09:53

Those critters who are losing some of their habitat are actually gaining better shelter from the rain and snow........and a lot more warmth around those panels compared to those sappy cold pine trees. And they'll be no humans taking nature strolls through the maze of panels to bother them. Looks a win-win for the critters near Tobey!

Posted by: Linda | Dec 29, 2017 19:34

LOL, Barnstorm!  Exactly how I feel. Prior to the mall was the electric company, which was well hidden.  We heard complaints before they built - where will the herd of deer go?  Well, some hit 195 and others roamed as they usually do.  A night guard told me that the deer were roaming the pkg. lot at 5:00am - every day.  Now, we heard the same when the mall went in and Wal-Mart & Aldi's.  The critters are being moved to the solar panels, lol.  Question:  where did the critters go when they cleared the land to build your home, whiners?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Dec 29, 2017 21:14

Nobody has ever called me a snowflake or a whiner! Ha ha!  It's all good.  Look what happens when I toned it down.  Being all negative all the time was getting exhausting.  Now that I'm being called names I may reconsider.


Free electricity from the sun is an incredible thing.  I am totally on board.  I just feel that the square feet of land required is a bit much, especially when in plain view.  Rooftops and canopies over parking lots is more of a win win.

Posted by: Zephyr | Jan 01, 2018 19:06

I remember reading that there are two small towns north of Massachusetts where the board approved the solar projects but the companies had to give the towns free street light power just in the downtown area.  I understand that worked out well for them and saved the towns a lot of money.  I just can't remember where they are located.

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