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Natural Awakenings Hartford

The Gravel Pit Solar Project In East Windsor

Developer D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and project developer North Light Energy plan to seek state approval this year for a massive 120-megawatt solar development in East Windsor, which could be the largest array in the Northeast and one of the biggest in the country.

The proposed project, which could generate enough energy to power more than 12,000 homes, would cover 485 acres stretching northeast from the South Windsor town border up to Apothecaries Hall Road.

In April, the Board of Selectmen approved a tax stabilization agreement that would provide about $10 million in local revenue over the next 20 years, but the Connecticut Siting Council has ultimate jurisdiction over any new energy projects that generate 2 megawatts or more in power. D.E. Shaw hopes to begin construction between late 2021 and late 2022.

Gravel Pit was one of nine solar developments, both in and outside of Connecticut, selected by the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in late 2018 to?negotiate contracts to sell their energy to Connecticut’s utilities.?

Gravel Pit Solar is expected to become the town’s largest taxpayer. The developer plans to encircle the massive property with a fence to discourage illegal use of the land. There are only a handful of properties with sightlines to the proposed solar panels.

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