Ware residents speak against proposed solar facility in town

Hampshire County

Residents in Ware expressed reservations over a proposed solar facility in town Wednesday night.

The Ware Planning Board on Wednesday held a public hearing on a proposed solar facility on Monson Turnpike Road.

The land was originally purchased over a decade ago and was intended for residential units, but that never happened.

Now, Ecos Energy of Minnesota wants to cover 55 acres of the 140-acre plot with solar panels as part of Massachusetts smart program.

In order to do this, several acres of forest would need to be cleared, something some residents are not thrilled about.

“The number of acres that they’re looking to clear, it displaces all the animals and there is a ton of wildlife up there,” said Chantel Bleau of Ware. “I grew up there and I still live there and I don’t think it’s a good idea to displace all those animals.”

This would not be Ware’s first solar facility. The town planning director told 22News they want to maintain a small town feel but still be able to produce renewable energy.

“In terms of providing solar energy and still maintaining the small town character and vegetation,” said Ruben Flores Marzan. “For example, we only have .02 percent of our land area or solar fields.”

The planning board is currently reviewing Eco Energy’s application and could continue the public hearing phase of this process to another meeting.

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