1. Belchertown stands to gain $6M from proposed solar farms as critics sound alarm over clear-cutting

    Belchertown stands to gain $6M from proposed solar farms as critics sound alarm over clear-cutting

    There is controversy about clear-cutting many acres of trees to make them happen, but three proposed solar farms could net the town nearly $6 million over a 20-year period, data provided by the selectmen's office shows. The projects are expected to generate a total of 18 megawatts, should the Planning Board approve site plans for them and other permitting requirements. Three solar farms already online -- a 5.4-megawatt project off Route 181, a 1.5-megawatt facility on Ware Road and a 1.25-megawatt operation on Springfield Street -- will bring revenue totaling $1.8 million over a 20-year period, Town ...

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    1. We would very much like the Planning Board ... to show leadership.
    2. You want to come in and say it is a forest and it is going to stay a forest.
    3. The project protects in perpetuity 3,486 acres of working forest on and around Brushy Mountain in Leverett and Shutesbury, Massachusetts. It was named in honor of the late Paul C Jones, the 8th generation leader of W.D. Cowls.
    4. There's a critical balance between conservation and development.
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