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BENNINGTON — A Burlington company wants to build a solar array off Murphy Road.

A brief outline of the 500 kW project was given Monday before the Select Board by Chad Nichols, project development manager for Encore Renewable Energy, a company proposing a similar facility off Route 7 across from the Bennington County Sheriff's Department.

Encore has filed a 45-day notice with the Vermont Public Service Board, which will need to issue a "certificate of public good" before the project can be built. Encore can not file for the certificate until that 45 day period is up.

The Bennington Planning Commission has already reviewed the project and submitted a list of questions it would like addressed before it says whether or not the project complies with the Town Plan and the town's solar siting ordinance.

The project, dubbed "ER Paper Mill Solar" would be built on a parcel in the estate of Henry M. Randall. Nichols said there are three places on the 56-acre parcel the project could be built. He said the project is in its most preliminary of phases and that Encore likes to get public input before making a filing with the Public Service Board.

The Planning Commission wanted information on:

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• The location of prime agricultural soils near the project.

• A screening plan.

• A narrative describing how the project will comply with the town plan and the solar siting ordinance.

The board had few questions for Nichols at this early stage of the project and will have a chance to review it again when there is more information. Nichols said the project will be in the state's net metering program.

— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115


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