Huge Forestdale Solar Project Nears Completion

Banks of solar panels stretch off into the distance at a solar farm that is being built by Green States Energy at the end of Snake Pond Rd. in Sandwich. The array, spread out over about 25 acres is expected to generate roughly 4 megawatts of electricity.
GENE M. MARCHAND/ENTERPRISE - Banks of solar panels stretch off into the distance at a solar farm that is being built by Green States Energy at the end of Snake Pond Rd. in Sandwich. The array, spread out over about 25 acres is expected to generate roughly 4 megawatts of electricity.

The Greenwood Meadows solar project is almost ready to start turning energy from the sun into savings for the Town of Sandwich.

William A. Yetman, a senior partner at Howland Development Company in Wilmington, said yesterday that all, or nearly all, of the 13,860 solar panels at the project have been installed at the site, which is near Snake Pond Road in Forestdale.

Mr. Yetman said many more electrical connections need to be made, including the hookup to the main electrical grid.

But he anticipates the connections and overall construction will be completed by January 1, with the 4-megawatt project going online sometime that month.

Mr. Yetman said the Town of Sandwich, the sole customer of the project, should begin realizing savings on its electricity bills next month. The rate will fall on electricity used in municipal and school operations.

The town has contracted to buy power from the project at discounted rates for the next 20 years. Assistant town manager Douglas A. Lapp has estimated that the town will save millions of dollars on its power bills over the life of the contract.

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Greenwood Meadows has been built on 16.56 acres. The solar panel array is surrounded by a six-foot-high fence and a 17-acre open space buffer.

Howland Development is leasing the parcel to a limited liability company known as SLX 1170. Participants in the limited liability company include Altru Energy and Green States Energy, Inc.

SLX 1170 built and will operate Greenwood Meadows, selling its power to the town.

Speaking of the project, Mr. Yetman said, “It was good for the town, for us, for the people who are building it.”

He praised town officials, especially town manager George H. Dunham, for supporting the solar project and helping it move forward.

An open house may be scheduled at the project site before January 1.

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