Company eyes Naugatuck, Beacon Falls for solar farms

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

A California-based solar energy company wants to build solar farms in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls.

TRITEC Americas, LLC, has applications pending in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls to construct solar panel arrays in both municipalities.

TRITEC Americas is an affiliate of TRITEC Group AG, a multi-national solar services company founded in 1987. TRITEC Americas provides solar photovoltaics project development, financing and asset management services for commercial and industrial solar markets, according to its website.

In Naugatuck, the company has applied for a special permit to build a 1 megawatt solar farm with 3,240 solar panels on about 5 acres of undeveloped land at 0 Bosco Drive, which is at the end of the street.

The project would also include building an access road and storm water management work, according to the application. The solar farm would produce enough electricity to meet the needs of about 164 homes, according to TRITEC Americas President and Managing Director David Trepeck.

“TRITEC Americas, LLC, believes this is a vital project and will provide long-term economic and environmental benefits to the borough of Naugatuck and the state of Connecticut,” Trepeck said.

In Beacon Falls, the company is seeking a special exception to build an approximately 0.75 megawatt solar panel array of about 2,025 solar panels at 343 Lopus Road. Trepeck said the array would produce solar energy for 20 to 30 years.

“Like the Naugatuck project, it will be a great project that will produce clean, carbon-free energy for Connecticut and have little to no negative impacts on the environment,” Trepeck said.

Trepeck said the energy generated by the panels would be sold back to utility companies through the electric grid.

Eversource Energy has selected the Naugatuck project for a Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) contract, according to Trepeck.   

The ZREC program is designed to incentivize businesses, institutions and municipalities to produce clean energy. Under the program, TRITEC Americas will sell renewable energy credits produced by the solar array to Eversource, Trepeck said.

The company plans to lease the land in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls for the arrays, Trepeck said. The land on Bosco Drive in Naugatuck is owned by Curtis Bosco and Florence Justino. The land is zoned residential.

The land on Lopus Road in Beacon Falls is in an Industrial Park District and owned by Terrance Murtha and June Rydzik. There is a home on the property. The proposal calls for demolishing the home and a shed on the property.

The Naugatuck Zoning Commission and Beacon Falls Planning and Zoning Commission accepted the applications at meetings in September. The Naugatuck commission set a hearing on the special permit application for Oct. 20 at 6:05 p.m. The Beacon Falls commission set a hearing on the special exception application for Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Beacon Falls Town Hall.

Chris Gagnon, a project manager with the engineering firm BL Companies, is working with TRITEC Americas on the Naugatuck project. He told borough zoning officials at their Sept. 15 meeting that the solar panels will be mounted on steel racks and will move with the sun.

“It’s a very cool set up that allows us to be efficient with the development,” Gagnon said.