P&Z Hears Solar Energy Request Behind BMS

The Planning & Zoning Commission usually takes August off.

But before they do, a solar energy project is on the docket. Today (Thursday, July 16, 5 p.m., Zoom meeting) they’ll consider a text amendment, special permit and site plan application for “solar-based electric generating facilities” on the Bedford Middle School campus. They’ll be mounted on the ground (not canopies).

Greenskies Clean Energy has been granted a town lease to produce electricity there. The firm seeks a variance to mount 20-foot solar panels in the grassy area behind the school, and remove 10 trees.

The project includes modules in both corners behind the school.

One section of the site backs up to property on Woody Lane. The other part backs up to High Point Road.

The site plan for Bedford Middle School. The proposed solar panels are indicated by hatch marks near the center of the map. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

The meeting will be livestreamed on http://www.westportct.gov, and shown on Optimum channel 68 and Frontier channel 6020.

A close-up view of the work proposed. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

16 responses to “P&Z Hears Solar Energy Request Behind BMS

  1. John F. Suggs

    Whoa!! Why the rush? Why is the town sneaking this through in the dog days of summer when no one is paying attention? Typically approving an 8-24 and text amendments usually require multiple public hearings. Why is this all happening in one hearing?

    Is there something about this deal the town doesn’t want to reveal?

    What does the contract say that Westport gets back from this deal beyond bragging rights and a certificate declaring us Environmentally superior? If that is all we get that certificate is going to cost us a lot of money! I would like to see the numbers first.

    And why behind our school? West Haven gave this company use of an old landfill, so why are we giving them pristine land in the middle of one of our best neighborhoods?


    Slow down!

  2. Mark Bachmann

    I’d rather keep the trees!

  3. This is great! Fantastic to see Westport taking initiate when Fairfield Public Schools have had solar power for years…

  4. Bill Strittmatter

    Why ground mounted? There is a lot of nice flat roof on both Bedford MS and Staples HS that would seem to be a better choice.

  5. Mark L Yurkiw

    To have the students see the direct evidence of renewable energy being used by the school should be considered as part of their education. I’d like to see the students visit the site during installation and classes held there after.

  6. Thomas Orofino

    why not buy from an AMERICAN company, Greenskys is a Korean company

    • Morley Boyd

      Greenskies has a Westport connection.
      Just like the, um, drone project.
      Btw, aren’t some or all of those trees which are to be removed part of the screening the town previously agreed to establish for the residential abutters?

      • Thomas A Orofino

        Greenshy has no connection to Westport they are a Korean company. And if those tree were purpose built they should stay. The only reason a solar company removes trees is if the trees block the suns rays from the solar array/configuration on the buildings

        • John McCarthy

          Korean? Source please. Looks like they are now owned by a firm owned by Magic Johnson.

          • Thomas A. Orofino

            Greensky is a CT from Middlebury. It is ultimately owned by a Korean company unless they sold it someone else

      • Thomas A Orofino

        What’s the Westport connection?

        • Morley Boyd

          Well, you stated there’s no Westport connection so I won’t tell you the name and street address of the company’s SVP. As for the neighbors who thought they had an agreement with the town to provide screening, the heck with them and those trees. What matters most is that we must be seen doing something “green”.

  7. James McDonald

    I agree with Mr. Strittmatter and Mr. Bachman, why saw the trees down? Put the panels on the huge roof(s) of Bedford and show the students that the town genuinely cares for the environment. Solar is great but why take up precious open space which this town is so short of. If they cannot put it on the roof it should not be done at all as it will take away small wildlife habitat and be an eyesore.

  8. Morley Boyd

    The application got pulled at the last minute. What that most likely means is that it will simply return at a later date. But this time the site for the solar panels will probably be beside the Senior Center in Barons South Park where there are few residents nearby to complain. As I recall, Greenskies wanted all the trees on the park’s north lot line vaporized in order to accommodate its panels at that location. At this point, Barons South Park is pretty much a man caused disaster – so why not?

  9. Nice! Thanks for sharing.