On March 28, 2019, the Connecticut Siting Council approved the development and management plan for a 26 megawatt solar farm off Hoskins and Country Road. On Friday April 12, 2019, a building permit application was filed for the construction, and construction activities started at the site on May 1, 2019. Additional updates will be provided at the Tobacco Valley Solar site.
In 2016, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts issued a joint Clean Energy RFP for renewable energy projects of 20 megawatts or greater. A 26.4 megawatt solar project proposed by Deepwater Wind (DWW), sited on property off Hoskins and County Roads in the north end of Simsbury, was selected. Under Connecticut state law, projects that would generate more than 1 megawatt of energy are permitted through the CT Siting Council and are not subject to local zoning and land use requirements.
In June 2017, the Town secured party status with the Siting Council. DWW held a public hearing in Simsbury on September 12, 2017, and the Town actively participated in the Siting Council proceedings in November 2017. On December 21, 2017, the Siting Council ruled that no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is required for the construction of the project. On January 22, 2018, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to appeal the Siting Council’s ruling in order to retain the right to appeal the decision at a later time if the Town’s concerns were not adequately addressed through negotiations with DWW.
On September 12, 2018, the Board of Selectmen approved a settlement agreement with DWW. This agreement achieves the Board’s primary goals of protecting public health and safety, and minimizing the impact to the neighboring community. The Board also approved an option agreement, which grants the Town the option to purchase the land for $1 once the project is decommissioned.
The Town reviewed the development and management plan approved by the Siting Council and determined that the plans comply with the stipulated agreement.