initiative more than a decade in the making to build Nantucket’s largest solar farm on the Wannacomet Water Company property off Milestone Road quietly came to an end this week

Select Board on Wednesday officially voted to back out of the project by terminating a lease agreement with Solar Star Tranquility – a subsidiary of the giant French energy company TotalEnergies – which had been selected in 2019 to develop the 3.8 megawatt, ground-mounted solar array

Permitting challenges – specifically a determination last August by the state that the property was subject to an article of the Massachusetts Constitution that would have required state legislative approval – ultimately led to the project’s downfall

“The size of the project is dead, but we’re looking into doing something smaller scale, within Department of Environmental Protection regulations and what we can do in the well field,”

As recently as last May, TotalEnergies representatives were telling the public that construction would begin in the fall of 2023. But that never happened.

The NLWC’s attorney wrote a legal opinion asserting the water company property was indeed subject to Article 97, while town counsel KP Law authored a conflicting opinion that it was not. In August 2023, the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs stated that the property was subject to Article 97.


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