BURRILLVILLE – The Burrillville Planning Board has granted master plan approval to two solar projects proposed in Nasonville on currently vacant land surrounding Western Hotel & Pizza.

The larger of the two, a 2.71 megawatt ground mounted solar array proposed by Boston-based Douglas Pike Solar, LLC, would sit on a property currently owned by Joseph & Maryann Mantia of Warwick.

According to plans submitted by engineers from ESS Group. Inc., the array at 0 Walling Road is a quarter mile from the former Nasonville Fire Department headquarters. Accessible via Douglas Pike, the solar array would be partially situated on former gravel pit to reduce the area slated for tree clearing at the Planning Board’s request.

“There is a large wetland along Victory that makes access almost impossible,” explained Planner Raymond Goff.

The lot sits at the intersection of Victory Highway and Douglas Pike, just behind Western Hotel & Pizza. Solar panels will occupy 6.9 acres, or 17 percent of the 40 acre lot.

On the remaining acreage, town planners envision the “Nasonville Contemporary Co-living Housing Development,” a series of 80-100 residential lots of as small as 12,000 square feet.

“This is an idea that is being presented as part of the redevelopment of Nasonville which includes the Nason Mill located adjacent to Bronco Highway,” said Goff. “The Nasonville Redevelopment Plan is calling for small housing developed on the parcel behind/next to the Western Hotel.”

On the other side of Victory Highway, Virginia-based Hexagon Energy, LLC will build a 750 kilowatt array covering 180,000 square feet of a 21.92 acre lot owned by Montigny Enterprises.

Dubbed Victory Highway Solar on plans designed by Diprete Engineering,  the site would be accessed from Broncos Highway, and sits 500 feet west of the Branch River, across from Burrillville Middle School.

If all goes as planned, construction of the array would begin in fall of this year, and be completed in early 2021.

Both projects must still go through the preliminary and final approval process before building permits will be issued, according to Goff.

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