Shutesbury Road Solar
PureSky Energy (formerly known as AMP) is proposing a 9.35MWDC (4.4 MWAC) ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation with an accompanying battery energy storage system. The solar array will span 41 acres on an approximately 102 acre site owned by W.D. Cowls, Inc. The 102 acres is split up into three separate parcels (9B/11, 9B/12, and 9B/27) and sits down hill from residential properties off Shutesbury Road. For further detail on the project location, please see the map below.
The Shutesbury Road Solar project will be the largest solar array Amherst has ever seen. Discussions and preparations have gone as far back as two years. The applicant (PureSky Energy) is currently working with the Town on the Fort River Solar Project (site of the former Hickory Ridge Golf course). To learn more about PureSky Solar, check out their website by clicking here Version OptionsShutesbury Road SolarHeadline.
soils, wetlands, and stormwater reports
- 2.0 Soil Infiltration Report.pdf
- 2.1 Order of Resource Area Delineation.pdf
- 2.2 Wetland Delineation Survey.pdf
- 2.3 Natural Resources Inventory.pdf
- 2.4 Water Quality Memo.pdf
- 2.5 Stormwater Management Report.pdf
- 2.6.1 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (Part 1).pdf
- 2.6.2 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (Part 2).pdf
- 2.6.3 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (Part 3).pdf
- 2.7 Record Conditions Plans.pdf
emergency procedures and maintenance
Special Permit Process
According to the Amherst Zoning Bylaws, the Solar Project fits into a use category known as "Transformer Station or Other Energy Facility or Use" (Section 3.340.0). This is due to the fact that there are currently no zoning regulations on solar arrays in Amherst. This type of use is allowed by Special Permit in all residential districts. In this case, the project is located in the R-O (Outlying Residence) district which means it needs Special Permit Approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Special Permits are governed by M.G.L. Ch. 40A and follow a standard process:
- Special Permit application is filed with the Town Clerk.
- A public hearing is scheduled and held before the ZBA (must be done within 65 days).
- Once the public hearing is opened, the Board can keep it open for an indefinite amount of time until they close it.
- Once the public hearing is closed, the Board has 90 days to render a decision and take their vote.
- Once the Official Record of Decision is filed with the Town Clerk, a 20-day appeal period begins in which members of the public can appeal the ZBA's decision to a higher court (Land Court or Superior Court).
- After the 20 day appeal period ends (and no appeals were filed), the Town Clerk issues a certificate that no appeals were filed.
- The applicant takes the Official Record of Decision to the Registry of Deeds to be filed and making the Special Permit active (the applicant has up to 2 years to file the Special Permit).
Upcoming Meeting Dates
- August 24, 2023
- October 12, 2023 (Continued Hearing Date)