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    WAREHAM

    Wareham greenlights largest solar facility yet

    05/10/16--BEVERLY, MA - Solar panel array on Beverly High School's roof -Several communities north of Boston are reaping the benefits of municipal solar projects, which have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in electricity costs for some communities. However, recent legislation could set a minimum electricity bill for these cities and towns. Lo (globe staff photo: Joanne Rathe Boston Globe section: north zone)
    Globe File 2016
    A solar panel array on the roof of Beverly High School.

    A 134-acre site in Wareham will soon become the location of the town’s latest commercial solar facility.

    The Zoning Board of Appeals recently granted a special permit to BlueWave Solar that will enable the Boston-based firm to proceed with its plan to build the 12-megawatt installation off Charge Pond Road, according to town planner Kenneth Buckland.

    Consisting of 321,248 ground-mounted solar panels, the facility will be built on contiguous four parcels leased from three landowners.

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    Wareham already has 10 operating commercial solar facilities and two municipal ones. The SolarWave array, which could be in operation within two to three months, will be the largest.

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    Buckland said the town supports the project because of the revenue it will generate, which has not yet been calculated.

    The town is currently negotiating a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with BlueWave Solar. Cities and towns often pursue such deals with solar operators, which can benefit both sides by establishing in advance a steady and predictable schedule of annual payments from the company.

    Wareham has negotiated or is pursuing similar deals with the developers of the town’s other commercial solar sites.

    Buckland said the BlueWave Solar facility will not have any real visual impacts on the town since it is “tucked way into the woods,” out of sight of any roads or homes.

    John Laidler can be reached at john.laidler@globe.com.