State approves 75-acre solar energy facility in Waterford

The Connecticut Siting Council last week approved a controversial plan to install a 75-acre facility with almost 46,000 solar panels between Oil Mill and Stony brooks. While developer GRE Gacrux LLC received its long-sought approval for the property at 117 Oil Mill Road, local environmental group Save the River-Save the Hills was not as pleased. After the siting council’s initial denial, GRE filed a motion in January to modify its plan, saying its revised site plan had addressed the council’s original concerns. The council voted 3-1 last week to approve the plan. GRE performed additional on-site geotechnical studies, incorporated site stabilization measures, and conducted additional wildlife surveys. The new plan also proposes to decrease the size of the project from 55,692 solar panels to approximately 45,976. The developer has said the project could power more than 3,000 homes, helping Connecticut meet its emissions-reduction targets of 45% below 2001 levels by 2030.

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