Google Earth screen shot.
An old gravel pit in Westport, Mass., may soon find new life. Energy Development Partners of Providence, R.I., wants to build a 6.4-megawatt solar energy farm at the former Westport Stone & Sand gravel pit at 536 Old County Road, SouthCoast Today reports. At a public meeting hosted by the Westport Planning Board, the company presented details of the proposed redevelopment of the site.
Ben Aparo, project manager for the energy company, told the news agency that the large-scale solar array would cover approximately 14 acres in the center of the old pit. The array would consist of rows of 11-foot-high solar panels enclosed by fencing and surrounded by a 100-foot no-cut buffer zone to hide it from view. Two small ponds surrounded by wetlands would be left undisturbed or used to collect runoff water from the site.
According to the news agency, Allen Benevidez, consulting engineer for Woodward & Curran, said that what the company is proposing meets all the current zoning requirements, as well as the changes that were recently enacted to slow the number of solar farms being built in Westport.
“We’ve got a good vegetated buffer around this entire parcel,” Benevidez said, according to the news agency, explaining that there would be no noise and little traffic. He added that a landscape company would be hired to spruce up the entrance, and a locked access gate would keep the public away.