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Bird Property Condos Could be Solar Powered

Developers are working with a solar company to integrate solar panels into their buildings' design.

More than 200 condominiums proposed for a plot of land off Marshall Street in Holliston could be powered almost entirely by solar panels on roofs and on ground fixtures, according to Michael Norton, the site's proposed developer. 

Norton said a 2.5-megawatt solar system could generate 80 to 110 percent of the energy the site's residents will use. 

"We're making it for the purpose of making a green and environmentally secure system to the benefit of the whole town," Norton said. 

Holliston resident Godard van Beekhoff, the CEO of renewable energy development company Transatlantic Renewables, is working with Norton's firm, Green View Realty, to incorporate solar panels into the proposed buildings' design. 

"It won't be some horrible sight, they will be integrated," van Beekhoff said.

Commonly known as the "bird property," the site of the proposed development was polluted by years of chemical waste dumping, raising concern from some town officials. 

"I have a concern with the difficulty of identifying all hazardous waste,” Town Administrator Paul LeBeau told Holliston Patch in November. He worried moving the contaminated soil could leach toxins into the town's groundwater. 

Documents on Green View Realty's website describe a process of using oversight from town officials in order to safely bring the site to a state of "no significant risk of harm to humans, safety, public welfare or the environment."

Michael Norton said he hopes construction will start in as soon as 6 months with the first residents moving in 18 months later. 

Green View Realty is seeking permission from the state Environmental Protection Agency and Holliston's Conservation Commission before construction can begin. 

A new bylaw passed earlier this week will require the developer to seek a special variance from the town's zoning board to build the solar project. 

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