, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 7, 2013

Solar farm eyed for closed landfill

Officials: Panels could be combined with soccer field

AMESBURY — Long considered the future home of a new soccer field, the newly capped Titcomb Pit landfill is now being eyed as the possible site for a solar farm.

Mayor Thatcher Kezer and city councilors this week confirmed there is interest in using the former landfill at the intersection of Route 150 and South Hunt Road for solar power, which could bring a considerable amount of revenue into Amesbury. But officials cautioned the discussions are preliminary and no decisions have been made.

Kezer said he still intends to proceed with the construction of a soccer field on the top of the hill where the land is flat. The solar panels could then be placed on the slope surrounding the field.

“We want to do both,” Kezer said. “The soccer field would be up on the top on the flat spot, and there’s room all around on the slope for the solar panels.”

District 2 Councilor Christian Scorzoni, who is a staunch advocate for solar development in Amesbury, said the council’s main concern is finding the best use for the site. He highlighted the fact that Amesbury recently received the results of a fatal flaw analysis from Meridian Associates and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission identifying Titcomb Pit as a prime place for solar development.

“What I’ve envisioned is a situation where the city was able to develop a solar project on an area like Titcomb, and then use the proceeds to fund a soccer field expansion elsewhere,” Scorzoni said. “That’s a concept that several of the councilors have kicked around, and we’ve tried to determine what the best use of Titcomb is.”

The Amesbury Soccer Association has indicated in the past that it will maintain the property if a soccer field is built there. In the fall, Kezer said the association had set aside money to purchase nets, flags and other essentials to finish the project off when the time comes. A voicemail left for the soccer association seeking comment about the solar panel discussions wasn’t returned by press time.

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