Company gets rights to put solar panels on old Wallingford landfill

Company gets rights to put solar panels on old Wallingford landfill


FILE PHOTO: The landfill on Pent Road in Wallingford, Thursday, April 14, 2016. A development company presented a plan to the Town Council Tuesday to build solar panels on the landfill property. | Dave Zajac / Record-Journal

WALLINGFORD — The Town Council voted Tuesday to approve an option agreement with a development company looking to build a solar energy facility atop a town landfill.

Lend Lease, a multi-national company based in Australia, has been negotiating with the town to install solar panels on a former 50-acre landfill behind the Wallingford animal shelter along Pent Road.

The council’s vote does not finalize a lease agreement for the property, but does allow Lend Lease to finalize negotiations.

“Basically (the council) provided us an exclusivity period to finalize negotiations of the lease option that we’ve been working on,” said Kris Pitney, development manager from Lend Lease.

Corporation Counsel Janis Small said the two sides have finished a draft of an agreement and councilors were provided a copy prior to Tuesday. The council is expected to vote on whether to approve it at a meeting on June 27 following a public hearing.

If the council aprooves the agreement, the two sides would enter a lease option agreement, which would include a “one- to three-year due diligence period,” Pitney said, during which the company would conduct surveys of the land. After the due diligence period, the two sides would then enter into a lease agreement, Pitney said.

The lease could run as long as 35 years, said Joseph Jordan, project development director from Lend Lease. The overall cost of the project is projected to be between $25 million and $50 million, Jordan said.

The solar facility was one of several small-scale clean energy projects selected by the state last year. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection solicited bids for projects from outside companies, and in December chose about 10 projects in Connecticut, including the proposed solar facility in Wallingford.

The solar facility will produce between 15 and 20 megawatts of energy, Pitney said. The energy produced by the solar panels would go into the regional power grid.

Although the energy generated would not be exclusively used by the town, the new facility could mean added town revenue by way of property taxes and lease payments. 203-317-2279 Twitter: @MatthewZabierek

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