Aidan Foley of Glenvale Solar talks Monday with Buxton resident Crystal Davis about Emery Meadow Solar Station. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The Buxton Planning Board has approved a plan by Glenvale Solar of Boston for a $25 million solar farm on 119 acres off Haines Meadow Road.

The board voted 4-0 Monday, with Planning Board member Victoria Hugo-Vidal absent,  after addressing residents’ concerns about potential well water contamination and tree removal.

The company expects Maine Department of Environmental Protection approval for the Emery Meadow Solar Station in late February. Construction in 2022 will employ more than 100 local workers.

Energy produced will be sold to Central Maine Power and will connect to existing CMP transmission lines. The solar farm, which will provide enough power for 4,922 homes, has a 30-year lifespan, according to Aidan Foley, Glenvale principal and founder. Stefan Bird, director of development, said it has a 20-year contract to produce energy for CMP.

The town does not have  public water and residents Doug Furrh and Richard Hendricks were concerned about contamination of private wells because of chemicals contained in some makes of solar panels. Foley said he is confident that the solar panels they’ll install won’t contaminate.

“This project doesn’t represent any risk,” Foley said.


However, the Planning Board added a requirement to its conditions of approval that Glenvale drill test wells and have a schedule for testing samples.

Another condition of approval included a bonding formula so the town would not incur cleanup costs following any possible decommissioning of the solar farm.

The array will be accessed off Mark P. Emery Road, and the project requires tree removal on the site, which the company will lease from Dana Packard and Brent Hill.

Crystal Davis, who lives on Emery Road, told the Planning Board she was worried about logging trucks damaging the roads. She said she wants a posted speed limit and the roads to remain clean. Planning Board Chairperson Keith Emery said speed limits are set by the state and member Craig Lefebvre said weight limits on town roads are the responsibility of the town’s Public Works director.

Emery suggested Glenvale videotape the condition of the road.

Foley said a construction company will daily run a street sweeper.

Responding to another question from Davis, Foley said there won’t be noise on Saturdays during construction because equipment won’t be operated then.

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