Community Solar Array in Rowley, MA

Please consider supporting this endeavor which will benefit every citizen in Rowley. Write a letter of support, send an email, or attend a meeting.
Email contacts: kirk.baker@townofrowley.org or planning@townofrowley.org

Mailing address:
Rowley Planning Board
39 Central Street
P. O. Box 714
Rowley, MA  01969

by Bonni Berkowitz, Rowley Solar, LLC

My mom Barbara and I continue to work diligently towards building a community solar array on a portion of our farm for the benefit of the Rowley townspeople. The proposed community solar project is a 2mw array 100% of all power produced is distributed directly to the ratepayers of Rowley Municipal Light department.

Our multigenerational farm, ‘better than organic’ (biodynamic) is located at 623 Wethersfield Street in Rowley Ma. Our homestead, where I was raised, is located at the farm. Historically, we have had livestock, various crops and a solar component (42 years and going) over the decades.

We are beekeepers and have been planting a variety of crops and ornamental trees, which are from open pollinating, non-gmo, and USDA organic seeds. We have 40 plus years of rescuing abused, neglected or abandoned animals – dogs, cats, rabbits, horses (previously), and others.

One leg of our mission is based in our extensive efforts towards nourishing the soils when the farm is passed on to others. We anticipate it will be ‘healthier and more vibrant’ than when we began our efforts. We are not what many think of as a ‘traditional pull a tractor and maximize yield’ farmers. We have a vision of sustainability, zero ‘waste’, and crops grown with renewable reliable clean energy.

I am writing to ask for your support and the support of your colleagues relative to our proposed Rowley community solar array. Our efforts have been battered by an abundance of misinformation in the public arena. This misinformation is fostered by what seems to be a lack of leadership by ministerial boards, run ‘afoul’ of the law and steering a crowd against our efforts. Nevertheless, we persevere continuing to focus our efforts on operating the farm.

Rowley is a right to farm community. Having a ‘solar farm’ component adds to our sustainability. We plan to plant pollinating species beneath the array, have sheep maintain any woody growth (and fertilize the soils). Our focus is clear – maintain our technologically advanced agricultural efforts, provide a valuable and much needed renewable clean energy resource for the benefit of residents of Rowley, and as keep working as stewards of ‘the land’.

The opponents of our community solar project state we are: creating blight, deforesting, harming the environment, installing known carcinogens, creating noise, decreasing property values by 40% (per licensed real estate brokers), endangering public safety, causing harm to people driving from other towns thru Rowley, causing the neighborhood to ‘sink’, people only interested in running a business selling power none of which is benefitting Rowley, causing electric rates to increase, creating a junk yard.

The remuneration of such testimony by the ‘crowd cluster’ results in ministerial meetings being ‘commandeered’. Time is expended without our having an equal or adequate opportunity to present our community solar project in a meaningful manner. Each of the concerns listed above (except the neighborhood sinking) is addressed either by evidence in the form of oral testimony or written documentation.

We are heading back to the Rowley Planning board this Wednesday April 11 2018 @ 7:30pm at the town hall annex. The small meeting room fills quickly and in order for us to secure a seat we arrive as early as possible.

Please feel free to attend, write an email or letter of support to the Rowley planning board or reply with any suggestions or comments. I may be reached directly by email at: berky000@gmail.com or cell 617-549-2744. I look forward to sharing the progress of our community solar project.

Thank you

Bonni Berkowitz
Rowley Solar, llc
Its duly authorized managing member

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