Who is Borrego Solar?

Who are the actors behind the deforestation and strip mining in Southeastern Massachusetts being done in the name of “renewable energy”? Here’s everything you want to know about Borrego Solar courtesy of PitchBook. Here’s the top tier management with their contact info. Feel free to let them know what you think of their destruction of the globally rare Pine Barrens forests in Southeastern Massachusetts. Here’s a Google Earth view of the strip mine site for Borrego’s Golden Field solar project-50 acres of rare Pine Barrens forest clear-cut, earth removed and now its a solar site. Borrego is in bed with AD Makepeace — identifying the highest points of land with the largest volume of earth and putting solar installations there. Grabbing ratepayer and taxpayer subsidies to do this. The ruse and the cheating is being exposed.

May 8, 2021 This the the Borrego Solar “Golden Field” solar site. AD Makepeace clear-cut the site for a 50 acre solar installation, then removed millions of cubic yards of valuable sand-up to about $36 million worth. It told the state MEPA office it would be removing 40,000 cubic yards. Borrego, in partnership with Makepeace, is now installing solar which is pictured to the left in this video. Makepeace is expanding the strip mine – operating in violation of the Town of Carver Earth Removal permit. State regulators and local officials are looking the other way. Watchdog groups from around the region are exposing the truth.

AD Makepeace CEO Jim Kane explains the business plan that his company has with Borrego Solar: ADM does an earth removal operation generating millions in sales of valuable silica sand via its Read Custom Soils subsidiary, http://www.readcustomsoils.com. Then ADM leases the land to Borrego Solar for 20 years. When the solar “fad” is over Borrego takes out its “junk” and ADM puts in subdivisions. Very well thought out plan — gotta give the guy credit! Too bad most of it is based on misrepresentations and sham permits.

May 12, 2021, Wareham MA, USA

MassDEP asked to step in to protect Tihonet Pond & wetlands from Borrego-Makepeace earth removal and solar project T

The MassDEP is being asked to override a decision by the Town of Wareham to allow a destructive 76 acre ground-mounted solar energy generating utility to be located on the shores of Tihonet Pond and the Wankinko River in Wareham. The River is habitat for river herring and endangered Northern Cooters. The Town issued the permit without requiring AD Makepeace to explain and disclose the full impacts of the up to 2 million cubic yards of earth that will be strip mined out before installing the solar facility.

According to the appeal, the Town permit does not comply with the state Wetlands Protection Act and is illegal because the Selectmen have not issued an Earth Removal Permit.

It is time for the Wareham Board of Selectmen to stop covering up for AD Makepeace and follow the law. The environment, property values and the climate depend on it. No more handshake deals for AD Makepeace.

BREAKING: May 13, 2021 — BUSTED!

An explosive new video shows AD Makepeace violating its Carver earth removal permit by running trucks at 150% over the permitted level. This is at just one site-they are operating three sites. We demand that the Town of Carver shut down these operations immediately. We have sent a second request for enforcement.

The time for delay and games is over.

Makepeace’s own reports show violations — and according to Carver, these truck numbers don’t include sand and gravel sold commercially to cranberry bog companies.

There are criminal and civil penalties for violating an earth removal permit: $100 per violation. Bylaw section 9.1.9. The truck limit is 50 per day.

These time comparison shots of AD Makepeace Read Custom Soils site on Federal Road in Carver on the Plymouth line show the strip mining between 2010 and 2018. It has been going on continuously since 2018. More has been destroyed. Photos from Google Earth Pro (free for downloading on the internet).

We are racing against the clock to save biodiversity and humanity from the destructive extraction of “sand and gravel” in Southeastern Massachusetts and from and the bright green lie of clean energy is destroying out pristine globally rare forests.

Our letter is here.


May 13, 2021 UPDATE:

Saturday, May 8, 2021: Carver, MA, USA Location: “Golden Field” solar project site and strip mine expansion, Federal Road, Carver, Massachusetts.

BUSTED: AD Makepeace violating its earth removal permit by operating past noon on a Saturday.

May 8, 2021 AD Makepeace strip mine site, 59 Federal Road/Borrego Solar “Golden Field Pond” solar site
May 8, 2021: Time is 1 p.m. AD Makepeace is violating the Carver Earth Removal Permit that prohibits work after 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

An estimated 2-4 million cubic yards of sand was strip mined by AD Makepeace Co. of Wareham MA for the 50 acre solar site between 2016 and about 2019. Strip mine operations are underway to remove an additional 4 million cubic yards of valuable sand, leveling a 30 foot hill over a 100 acre site. At least $35 million in sand strip mined out so far at this one site. This site is one of 12 land based solar sites in this area being done by AD Makepeace in partnership with Borrego Solar.

On April 6, 2021 Community Land & Water Coalition filed an enforcement request with the Town of Carver seeking a cease and desist order to stop all earth removal until questions are answered. On May 13, 2021 we sent a second request.

For the Borrego Solar “Golden Field” project, 50 acres of globally rare pristine upland Pine Barrens forests were leveled. Another 100 acres is currently being destroyed under an Earth Removal Permit from Carver claiming this is an agricultural operation. A total of about 500 acres will be strip mined for industrial solar “site preparation” if the 10th, 11th and 12th projects now proposed for Wareham goes ahead.

At the Golden Field solar and strip mine site, endangered Eastern Box Turtles have been killed. Unknown numbers of plants and animals and rare biodiversity of the Pine Barrens ecosystem have been destroyed at this site.

The area contained evidence of a Wampanoag work area. It was destroyed under cover of a letter from Mass Historic Commission. Note that the letter says it is for an AD Makepeace “agricultural project.” Strip mining is not an agricultural operation.

The Golden Field solar project and strip mine was allowed to pass Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review without an environmental impact report. The AD Makepeace-Borrego MEPA Environmental Notification Form is filled with inconsistencies and unverified claims.

AD Makepeace Environmental Notification Form to MEPA for “Phase C 6” Golden Field Solar Project. Note: “extensive grading” AKA EARTH REMOVAL — has been “avoided.” The photos show otherwise. Claims the earth removed “is anticipated to be readily stored or used elsewhere on ADM’s overall landholdings.” It is estimated that 2-4 million cubic yards of valuable soil was strip mined from the 50 acre Golden Field site by AD Makepeace to “prepare” the site for Borrego Solar’s land based solar utility. There was no earth removal permit obtained for this activity. We demand an accounting of the volume of earth removed and where it went.

This is why we are fighting to save the Pine Barrens and standing with our Indigenous allies against destruction of life on Earth here in Southeastern Massachusetts.

This is why the three proposed Makepeace & Borrego Solar projects to strip mine and clearcut another 190 acres in Wareham in Southeastern Massachusetts must be stopped.

May 7, 2021: UPDATE: Why so many sand and gravel trucks hauling out earth on Wareham Roads on Federal Road?

We’ve documented over 1 truck a minute coming into Wareham from Carver:

Here’s one of the Makepeace strip mine sites sending trucks through Carver — before and after work started.

BEFORE Carver Earth Removal Site, 2016 before Makepeace & Borrego started destruction of the Pine Barrens
AFTER earth removal started and it is ongoing. This is as of 2018. Eventually the strip mine will come within 150 feet of Pine Tree Village and Cranberry Village in Carver.
View from the ground, March 2021 “Golden Field Solar” with earth removal by AD Makepeace and Borrego Solar

The reason there are so many trucks in Wareham is that Carver’s Earth Removal Committee makes AD Makepeace use Wareham roads to haul out the earth-not Carver roads.

To get the permit for a massive project permitted in 2020 — at least 160 truck trips a day hauling sand for 4 years — Carver told Makepeace it had to use Wareham roads, not Carver roads when leaving the site. Watch out Wareham. More dangerous truck traffic coming your way, destroying your roads.

Condition 3 from Carver Earth Removal Permit for Federal Road AD Makepeace site

About us:

We are documenting ongoing “earth removal” — in reality, strip mining and taking down the highest areas of land throughout the region — under the guise of “agriculture” or “site preparation” for land based solar projects. Under Massachusetts energy policy, taxpayers are subsidizing this destruction of forests and biodiversity for solar projects. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) must end all subsidies for land based solar.

Plymouth, Wareham and Carver and surrounding towns are the sacrifice zone for DOER energy policy. AD Makepeace Company, the largest landowner in eastern Massachusetts has been implementing a strategic plan to remove earth, strip mine and sell it and then use it for solar projects. Makepeace has been working with Borrego Solar for 10 years to find the most lucrative sand deposits on its landholdings. Then Makepeace tells local permitting agencies that the earth will be used for “agricultural purposes.” There is no documentation. Instead, it appears at least 18 million cubic yards of earth has been sold off for private profit.

The ongoing strip mines and deforestation for land based solar is causing massive, cumulative impacts to land, water and biodiversity. Here we attempt to document and demand transparency and accountability.