A private company is planning to develop a solar farm on Foreside Road in Topsham.

The proposed project is an approximately 4.95-megawatt solar facility on a 34.6-acre site  on the north side of Foreside Road.

Solar panels will cover approximately 423,034 square feet. The solar array is expected to generate enough clean electricity to power approximately 1,425 homes.

A map shows where the 35-acre solar farm may be established in Topsham. Courtesy of Topsham’s Planning and Development Department.

“Having distributed energy production — and, more importantly, renewable distributed energy production — provides resilience to our power grid and reduces the production of greenhouse gas emissions. This is good for community sustainability,” said Andrew Deci, assistant town planner.

Stantec Consulting Services, an engineering firm representing Long Road Development Company which proposed this project, will be filing a site plan review application for the project’s construction, which will be reviewed during the next week’s Planning Board Meeting.

The project is expected to start sometime next year and will take nearly seven months to complete.

Summit Ridge Energy of Arlington, Virginia, is the project’s long-term owner-operator and financier.

“We acquired the project from Long Road Development Company,” said Brianna Steven, communications and business development director of Summit Ridge Energy. “We have dedicated funding platforms through the establishment of joint ventures with renowned investors  that will fund the development and operations for the project’s full lifecycle, which is 25-35 years.”

Recreational trails crossing the property will remain open or be re-routed, according to the site plan application.

The project will also include a temporary gravel access road from Foreside Road to the northern end of the solar arrays.

“We take our commitment to environmental integrity seriously, which is why our team replants any foliage disrupted by construction,” said Steven. “At the end of the project’s lifecycle, the company deconstructs the array and restores the land to its original state.”

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