Solar: Council approves one of two solar jobs

Ricky Travers

Ricky Travers

CAMBRIDGE – The Dorchester County Council approved by a 4-1 vote a solar power project south of Hurlock.

Members Don Satterfield (District 1), William Nichols (District 2), Ricky Travers (District 3) and Tom Bradshaw (District 5), were in favor. Rick Price (District 4) was opposed.

The vote was specifically for allowing Todd Solar LLC to make payments in lieu of taxes for its energy generating facility. The site is not close to homes. Regardless, Mr. Price said he felt the proposals should be part of the county’s comprehensive plan.

The other project, proposed by Richfield Solar Energy, LLC, has been more controversial. “It’s been a bone of contention,” Mr. Nichols said.

Payments from both energy sites would generate more than $12 million for the county. When it came time to vote on the two jobs, there was a long pause while council members studied the information on their laptops.

Mr. Travers reminded them that this isn’t their first time facing a similar decision. “This is not the first one, these are the second and third ones,” he said.

Attorney Ryan Showalter represented the companies. He said buffers would be planted to shield homeowners from a view of fields filled with solar panels.
“There would be 150 feet of forest when there are adjacent homes,” he said.

Donna Todd was present to oppose the Richfield job and its panels. “They are just too close to our homes,” she said, adding that panels would be only 50 feet from her house.

Mr. Satterfield said to Mr. Showalter, “If you’re not going to do 150 feet, and if the site plan doesn’t specify it, I move to table this.”

After the approving the Todd plan, the Richfield decision was tabled until the next council meeting.

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