New solar farms coming to East Windsor, Orange; sheep will be hired for property maintenance

Hartford Business Journal | Zachary Vasile
February 2, 2022

Plans for two new solar energy projects, in East Windsor and Orange, are moving forward after an OK from the Connecticut Siting Council.

Energy firm Greenskies Clean Focus, which is developing both projects, said the solar farms will be based on agricultural land, an intersection sometimes known as “agrivoltaics” or “agrisolar.” Construction is expected to begin later this year, according to company officials.

The 5-megawatt East Windsor solar array will occupy about 20 acres at Mulnite Farms, off of Miller Road. The solar panels will be arranged in linear rows separated by a 16.5-foot-wide aisle, and Greenskies plans to contract with a sheep farmer who will introduce a flock to the area to graze, cutting down on mowing and maintenance costs.

The Orange project, listed at 2.9MW, will occupy six or seven acres of land at Treat Farm, off of Old Tavern Road. Under the terms of a virtual net metering agreement, the solar array will act as a distributed energy resource for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, creating opportunities for cost savings at its locations.

Both projects have an expected service life of between 20 and 30 years.