Planners vote to approve solar park
SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS David G. Lear, standing, project manager for Lehigh Engineering Associates, Inc., presents the final plans for Green Energy Capital Partners' solar park project. Looking on from left are Nesquehoning Planning Commission officers Gene Kennedy, Frank Jacobs, Sam Kitchko, Jerry Heffelfinger and John McArdle.
It has been a long time coming, but on Wednesday night members of the Nesquehoning Planning Commission voted to approve the final plans for Green Energy Capital Partners' solar park to be constructed at the Fourth Hollow.
David G. Lear, project manager for Lehigh Engineering Associates, Inc. reviewed the final plans with the commission and laid out a timetable for the completion of the project. Crews have already been busy clearing and grubbing the site in order to make it stable for construction. In another two to three weeks piers will be installed to hold the racks and panels.
An in-service program will be provided for fire department and ambulance crews along with borough utility workers to ensure their safety while on site. A guard will also be present at the gate entrance to the solar park.
Rows of panels will be erected with approximately 14-16 feet between rows. There will be a 20-foot area between groups of panels to allow for access by emergency crews should the need arise.
Seedlings and wildflower mixtures will be planted to help with drainage of water back into the soil.
"It will look like a meadow in between areas," said Lear.
There will also be two ponds for storm water infiltration.
A visitor center and classroom will also be constructed on the site.
The solar park is slated to be on a live connect with PPL in September or October of 2012.
In other news, the commission reorganized and voted Sam Kitchko as temporary secretary for the commission and for all other officers to be retained.