By Nick Barry
FRAMINGHAM – Hopkinton-based Solect Energy came before the Framingham Planning Board Thursday, August 5, to get approval to build a solar canopy in the parking lot of Brophy Elementary School.
The company was represented by Bill McGrath, and Steve Barrett of Barrett Engineering. Vice President of Solect Steve Gregory also attended via Zoom.
The company was seeking a “limited site plan review,” which would be covered under the city’s Dover Amendment.
McGrath said the solar canopies were a part of Brophy’s recent site improvements, and that they would provide a renewable source of power to the school.
The company also noted based on criteria from the Federal Aviation Administration, there was no glare predicted that would have a negative impact on motor vehicles and residential property.
Residents were generally supportive of the solar panels, but were worried that there would still be potential glare that would affect the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
“I’m concerned about what it’s going to do to the resale value of my house,” said Rick Buck, a nearby resident of Belknap Road.
The 5-member Framingham Planning Board decided that to continue the public hearing hearing to its next meeting on Thursday, August 19.
The Board asked the applicant to come to the next meeting with a representative of the school department, and to speak with residents, between meetings.
“We understand the concerns, we just dealt with this on another property in a residential neighborhood,” said Planning Board Chair Kristina Johnson.
Nick Barry is a 2021 SOURCE summer intern. This is his second time interning with the digital news outlet. He is a student at Westfield State University.