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WALPOLE

Officials delay action on solar farm proposal

The Norfolk County Commissioners want more time to assuage neighbors’ concerns before moving ahead with plans for a solar farm on county-owned land off North Street in Walpole, near the Westwood line.

Walpole Town Administrator Jim Johnson said the commissioners have asked that the Oct. 16 special Town Meeting put off action on a warrant article that would change zoning rules to allow a large solar installation on the property.

“The county commissioners want to table it so they can address the neighbors’ concerns,” Johnson said, adding that residents had expressed their misgivings at an earlier Planning Board meeting.

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In a related matter, a large solar farm is now up and running at the former Bird Machine Co. on Neponset Street. The 4.75 megawatt solar facility takes up about 25 acres of the former industrial site, or about 20 percent of the total area.

Johnson said the town would receive a payment in lieu of taxes from the solar farm, as well as credits on municipal electricity bills.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.