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Fidelity Investments wants 12-acre solar field to power part of 554-acre Merrimack campus

Union Leader Correspondent

June 21. 2018 2:51PM
Fidelity Investment workers Peter Wasserman of Londonderry and Danielle Merrill of Goffstown walk on one of the many walking trails on Fidelity Investment's 554-acre Merrimack campus in this 2014 file photo. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MERRIMACK — Fidelity Investments is proposing a 12-acre solar field to provide electricity to a portion of its 554-acre Merrimack campus.

The project, if approved, would include a solar array development on undeveloped property at the southeastern corner of Fidelity’s complex at 1 Spartan Way.

“The construction of the project will include tree clearing, the installation of solar array panels and racking systems, an internal gravel access road, associated transformer equipment pads and a temporary construction access road,” the engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. states in plans on file at Merrimack Town Hall.

According to the application with the planning board, about 346 ground mounted solar array racks containing 8,640 360-watt modules are being recommended for the solar field, as well as an overhead 34.5 kV line with utility poles to interconnect the existing electrical grid that will generate about 3.1 megawatts of power.

Devonshire Energy LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fidelity, is proposing the construction of the solar array field, state the plans, which are set to be reviewed by the planning board this week.

A Fidelity spokesperson said the solar farm is intended to provide 12 percent of power to Fidelity’s building at 2 Contra Way.

According to planning and zoning administrator Robert Price, the proposed location of the solar field will result in the least amount of land clearing.

Three transformer equipment pads will be required, as well as the installation of a fence, state the proposed plans.

“There is an existing wetland and vernal pool in the middle of the area proposed for the array field, within which the applicant is proposing tree cutting,” Price said.

If approved by the planning board, the project will still require an alteration of terrain permit by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. DES approval of the proposed stormwater management plan will also need to be secured.

Aside from its Merrimack campus, Fidelity also has an office in Nashua.

The company is one of the largest employers in the state. Privately held for 70 years, it employs about 5,200 people in New Hampshire. Overall, the company employs about 40,000.

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