Wareham: Solar on Fearing Hill strikes at heart of forest, wetlands community
Pristine, ancient forest target for clear-cut, grading for 22 acres of solar panels and lithium ion batteries
Fearing Hill is one of the highest points of land left in Wareham and has historic significance, high biodiversity, ancient ways and wetlands.
The so-called Clean Energy Collective of Colorado and Con Edison of New York along with land speculators propose an industrial solar energy generating station and battery storage on a 44 acre site.
Wareham already has 19 solar projects – over 330 acres have been clear-cut and in some cases strip mined. Another 1,400 acres are planned including this project.
- Bankrupt Colorado corporation “Clean Energy Collective” has teamed up with land speculators Joe Crespi and Robert Ahearn to propose an industrial solar and energy storage facility on 44 acres of West Wareham forest. The land speculators owe Wareham $217,370.00 from a tax fight with the Town & bankrupt solar developer CEC has sales that plummeted 97% in 2020. These speculators threaten our community! See the Site Plan Review Application, Option & Lease Agreement showing “Site Control” PDF page 80
THUMBING THEIR NOSE AT WAREHAM VOTERS
- On June 12, 2021, Wareham Town Meeting voted unanimously to outlaw this type of industrial solar project — 44 acres that cuts down trees — but these developers want an exemption.
REAL ESTATE VALUES, RECREATION HARMED
- The project abuts 44 homes in West Wareham residential neighborhood and the 114 acre Fearing Hill conservation land owned by the people of Wareham.
- Industrial solar reduces our property values & will be an eyesore to users of the conservation land trails. Read more about the URI study on industrial solar and property values here.
- The project will destroy wild, woodland habitat and forest in a globally rare Pine Barrens ecosystem with many rare and protected species. Read more about the impacts of ground-mounted solar on deforestation here and the wide range of protected species found in the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens here.
- The important Weweantic River watershed will be harmed by the loss of forest cover that filters water and by stormwater runoff. This project will scrape vegetation and soil that protects and filters the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer – our drinking water. Read more about the reach of the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer on the EPA website here.
NOT CLEAN & GREEN, WE PAY
- Destructive Massachusetts energy policies force ratepayers and taxpayers to give lavish subsidies to these developers claiming this is clean energy. The solar scheme can’t succeed without our subsidies! Do we want our money spent on this?
SAFETY THREAT: EXPLOSIONS, FIRE, TOXIC CHEMICALS & WASTE
- The Fearing Hill solar project proposes 7,333 solar panels and massive 4.4 MW AC batteries that will be trash in 20 years and very expensive to get rid of. Find out more information about solar waste here.
- The batteries are unsafe and pose a risk of fire and explosion and can leak toxic chemicals into the ground overlying our aquifer. A fire could engulf the nearby forest, threatening residences. There is only one main access road that could cause a delayed fire department response. Read about the industrial solar and battery fire in Arizona here.
- Solar developers are preying on Wareham which has significant environmental justice and working class population dangling cash payments. Solar panel manufacturing often exploits workers – many are made in China by Uigher minorities under questionable labor practices. Lithium and cadmium mining for panels and batteries is destructive and often exploits workers and Indigenous communities. Read more about the environmental justice population in Wareham community and the environmental justice policies regarding environmental affairs here.
JOIN US in fighting against the Clean Energy Collective and WORK TOGETHER to protect our forests!
TAKE ACTION NOW by joining attending public hearings and calling, emailing, or writing to representatives.
To call: 508-291-3100 extension 6500
Look for upcoming meetings here (normally Mondays).
Contact Wareham boards and committees:
- Richard Swenson, Chair, Wareham Planning Board
- Judith Whiteside, Chair Board of Select Board (email@example.com)
- Sandy Slavin, Chair Conservation Commission
- Kenneth Buckland, Director of Planning and Community Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Community Land & Water Coalition and Save the Pine Barrens submitted comments to Town boards in June, 2021 and on November 7, 2021.