Shutesbury Solar Project Advances, With Opposition

shutesbury planning commission

A controversial project to build a 6.2-megawatt solar array on a 30-acre parcel off Pratt Corner Road is moving forward again after the Planning Board recently agreed that the developer has successfully completed archaeological studies that are a condition of a special permit issued in June.

But those studies are insufficient for some concerned with the project.

Opponents, worried that it may be going up on a site used for Native American burials or ceremonies, say the two archaeological studies completed for Lake Street Development of Chicago, and submitted to the Planning Board, don’t meet conditions that demand a surface survey of the land be complete. A Traditional Cultural Properties Assessment, they say, must be done that meets federal Department of Interior standards.

Read the full article by Scott Merzbach in the Amherst Bulletin.

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Judge to Consider Shutesbury Burial Site Concerns

shutesbury-solar-farm-native-burial-site-concerns

A lawsuit aimed at temporarily preventing a large-scale solar project from being constructed on land that some suspect is a Native American burial ground is not yet settled.

A status conference on the federal civil rights lawsuit, filed by three Shutesbury and two New Salem residents against the developers and the Planning Board that approved the project, is set for Friday at 10:30 a.m. The conference before Judge Mark G. Mastroianni will be held at the U.S. District Court in Springfield.

The aim of the lawsuit is to make sure the 6-megawatt project on the 30-acre Wheelock Tract off Pratt Corner Road, owned by W.D. Cowls Inc., doesn’t go forward until tribal historic preservation officers and others can get onto the property and determine if it is a burial ground or sacred site.

Read the full report in the Greenfield Recorder.

Shutesbury MA OKs Solar Project on Possible Burial Ground

shutesbury hearing

Tensions flared again Tuesday  as the Planning Board approved a special permit for a 30-acre solar installation. After nearly a year of debate, the permit is a compromise between the developer and residents concerned about a possible Native American burial ground.

Full story in The Greenfield Recorder.