MILFORD — Voters will decide in March whether to lease about 120 acres of town land for the construction of a large solar farm.
The Board of Selectmen has signed a letter of intent with Granite Apollo, a solar energy company in Manchester, to develop a solar project up to 20 megawatts on the former Brox industrial property.
“This is a great opportunity for the town of Milford,” Mark Bender, town administrator, said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with Granite Apollo to help make this project a model for large scale, responsible clean energy development in New Hampshire.”
The property, which includes eight parcels owned by the town and totaling nearly 120 acres, is located off Perry Road on both sides of Route 101.
The lease prices suggested in the letter of intent include $1,000 per acre, per year for the first five years, with the possibility of an increase on each acre every five years thereafter; a 25-year term is being sought.
“This is a non-legally binding document,” Dominic LeBel of Granite Apollo recently told town officials. “This is a very preliminary site design.”
Since a letter of intent has been signed, Granite Apollo will now begin engaging in full lease negotiations with the town, and that agreement will then be presented to local voters during the March town meeting, according to LeBel.
He told selectmen recently that Apollo is working on energy projects in Hopkinton and Londonderry as well, although it currently does not have any projects completed.
LeBel said the company was founded in August 2017, explaining it takes time to develop the projects and finalize leases.
Londonderry plans to develop a 10 megawatt solar project on the Auburn Road superfund site, and Hopkinton intends on developing a 17 megawatt solar project at the Hopkinton/Webster landfill using Granite Apollo, according to a release.
The Milford solar farm, if approved by voters, would generate enough clean electricity to power about 5,000 homes, states the release.
“The Milford solar project will generate clean, renewable power at competitive prices to help Granite Staters save money on their power bills,” Chris Stewart, founder of Granite Apollo, said in a statement. “Well sited utility scale solar is a key part of New England’s energy future, and we are excited to work with the town of Milford on this project.”
According to the release, the proposed solar farm, which will be named Milford Solar, will be designed to minimize environmental impacts on the property.
LeBel said previously that Granite Apollo is interested in speaking with one or two abutters in the future, noting there is the potential to enlarge the solar farm if additional land becomes available and the expansion makes sense.