Published in the February 19, 2016 edition.


WAKEFIELD — A project proposed for Edgewater Office Park will result in the largest solar panel installation in Wakefield to date.

Representing the owner of 601 and 701 Edgewater Dr., Attorney Brian McGrail told the Conservation Commission last night that the parking garages associated with those two office buildings have top parking levels that are open with no roof. He explained that his client would like to add a roof to each of those buildings and place solar panels on the roofs.

McGrail introduced Bill Bergeron of Hayes Engineering to review the details of the plan.

Bergeron said that Hobbs Brook Management has office parks all over the state and in some of them it has done similar projects where it has placed solar panels on the roofs of buildings. He showed photos of such installations at office parks in Lexington and Waltham. He said that Hobbs Brook Management would like to do the same at two of its buildings at Edgewater Office Park.

The solar installation at the office park in Lexington, Bergeron said, generates 1.1 million kilowatts of energy back into the system and provides 20 percent of the energy for the entire office park.

He also pointed out that snow removal on the top level of a parking garage with no roof can be challenging and adding the roof would help to solve that issue as well. He said that there would be no change in the drainage from what is there now, as runoff from the panels and the roof would go into the original drainage system that was built for each garage.

Bergeron told the board that the project would require running about 75 feet of conduit from each of the two garages to the electrical panels in the buildings that the garages serve.

He maintained that the project would have little or no footprint and little if any impact on the wetlands. He said that the proposal would also go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a modification of site plan approval. Bergeron said that the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department was “thrilled” with the project.

McGrail explained that they were bringing the proposal to the Conservation Commission for an informal discussion and feedback in hopes that the commission would agree that there was no need to file a formal Notice of Intent with the commission.

ConCom members did agree that based on the nature of the work and its distance from the wetland, no formal filing or hearing was necessary. Commissioner David Peterson said that the project would have “virtually no impact” on the resource area.

McGrail and Bergeron asked the ConCom for a letter indicating that they favored the project that they could bring to the ZBA. Commissioners agreed to send such a letter, noting that while it has little to do with their purview in enforcing the Wetlands Protection Act, they were in support of renewable energy projects.


In other business last night, the Conservation Commission approved the delineation of approximately 610 linear feet of bordering vegetated wetlands associated with a proposed development at 14 Spring Ave.