OXFORD — Two solar projects went before the Oxford Planning Board to have their applications reviewed on February 14. Public hearings for both will be tonight at 6 p.m. at the Oxford Town Office.

The Oxford Planning Board has scheduled public hearings for two solar power projects similar to this one by the Quarry Run Dog Park off Ocean Avenue in Portland. One would be located off Main Street near Diffin Road and the other would be located on abutting properties in Paris and Oxford along Fore Street. Courtesy of The Forecaster

The first project was presented by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. of San Diego, Ca., on behalf of Solar Array.

Solar Array will be located off Main Street in Oxford, south of Diffin Road. The company is leasing the property for 20 years, with four options for five year extensions.

Borrego representatives Gregg Rosshirt and Sean Thies answered questions from neighboring property owners Joe and Sally Korn, Codes Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman, Oxford Planning Board and Oxford Public Safety.

Rosshirt and Thies explained that there no impacts on wetlands or wildlife are expected, although some archaeological testing may be done. They said some trees will be removed and the ground will be seeded and mowed seasonally. There will be no need for any herbicide treatments.

The entrance to Solar Array will on a pre-existing road onto Route 26. It will be 14 feet wide and have a Knox box at the gate. There will be fire department training prior to it opening. The site will have a seven-foot chain link fence surrounding it.


Asked about lighting, Rosshirt said there will be a motion light around the maintenance area. The Korns wanted to know what the noise level would be and were told a slight hum would be heard at the transformer.

The Board approved the site plan review as presented and scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 27.

The second solar project is set to be located in both Oxford and Paris. It was presented by Ryan Ranch LLC and ISM Solar Development on behalf of VHB. Jean Friend represented of the applicant.

The VHB project includes 1.7 acres of Oxford land. A gated entrance will be on located on Fore Street in Oxford and constructed to accommodate public safety vehicles. Friend said there will be Knox boxes located in both Paris, where the solar panels will be located, and in Oxford. The site includes some wetlands that were noted on the site plan.

The project is in early phases—land surveys and Department of Environmental permitting are both pending, as is a purchase and sale agreement for the properties. Friend is presenting the project to Paris’ Planning Board on Feb. 25.

The Board approved the application contingent on the pending items being completed and scheduled a public hearing to be held on Thursday, Feb. 27 along with the Borrego/Solar Array project.


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