Green Development completes two solar farms, including contested project in Hopkinton

GREEN DEVELOPMENT LLC on Tuesday announced completion of two solar projects in Hopkinton and Glocester, respectively. Pictured is CEO and founder Mark DePasquale with with a different array in West Greenwich. / PBN FILE PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN

CRANSTON – Green Development LLC announced on Tuesday that it had completed two major solar arrays, including a much-disputed project in Hopkinton.

The contested project, one of a series of commercial solar arrays proposed for the southern Rhode Island town, drew ire from local residents, who opposed the rezoning of the private residential land for the project. 

The completed project will produce just under 16 million kilowatt-hours of energy a year – enough to power more than 2,000 homes, Green Development stated.

A multi-year opposition in Hopkinton culminated in a lawsuit filed by town residents seeking to overturn the town council’s rezoning approval, which was ultimately dismissed in May 2020, The Westerly Sun reported. 

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James Donnelly, the attorney who represented the residents in the suit, could not immediately be reached for comment. 

The second project, on a private farm in Glocester, will generate just under 3 million kilowatt-hours of energy a year, powering roughly 440 homes, according to the company.

Mark DePasquale, founder of Green Development, lauded both projects as “a step forward” nothing the environmental and economic benefits, including through job creation during the pandemic. 

A portion of energy generated from both projects will serve Johnson & Wales University, as well as several housing authorities and community development groups. Excess energy generated from the project will also be sold to National Grid through its Renewable Energy Growth Program, which offers long-term, fixed-rate tariffs to incentivize green energy projects.

The utility company’s 2021 program, which does not start until the spring, includes significant cuts to the maximum prices paid for commercial-scale solar projects, which drew criticism from developers, including Green Development. 

Green Development has already developed nearly 80 megawatts of solar and onshore wind energy across the state, with another 111 megawatts of projects slated to be completed and connected to the grid this year, the company stated.

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff reporter. You may reach her at Lavin@PBN.com.

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