Medfield officials will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 17 in regards to a proposed zoning bylaw change that would allow for solar farms in Medfield.
At the hearing, which will be part of the Medfield Planning Board meeting agenda and set for 8 p.m. in the Chenery Room at Medfield Town Hall, officials will discuss the proposed farms, which would comprise arrays of large ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate clean energy.
Allowance of the solar panels would count as one of five steps the town needs to achieve in order to become certified as a Green Community, a designation that would open the door for state grants energy projects. If Medfield were to obtain the designation, the town would receive an initial grant of $148,000 with additional potential funds to follow, according to an announcement from David Temple of the Medfield Energy Committee.
Voters will make the final decision on the zoning bylaw change at Town Meeting next month.
In addition to allowing solar farms, towns seeking the Green Community designation must also achieve the following:
- Streamline the permitting process for building solar farms so that all requirements are met within a year after application for certification.
- Inventory town energy use in the past year and submit a plan to reduce it by 20 percent.
- Agree to buy only fuel-efficient vehicles (except for police cars and fire and DPW trucks) for the town and schools.
- Adopt the Stretch Energy Code, which places more stringent efficiency requirements on new commercial and some residential buildings.