Hearings on a controversial plan to build a
solar farm on Bridgewater’s northern border will begin in September.
The Bedminster Land Use Board decided on Thursday to deem complete the
application of KDC Solar to construct a, 49,000-panel industrial-scale
solar power plant on the 55-acre Kirby property at Country Club and Meadow roads.
That paves the way for the long-awaited hearings on the project to begin Sept 5.
The solar plant, which would be constructed on vacant farmland, would power
only Sanofi-Aventis on Route 202/206 in Bridgewater. The electricity would be transmitted through a
tunnel under the Chambers Brook and Route 287 to the Sanofi-Aventis site.
The groups opposing the plan claim the panels would cover an area as large as
the Bridgewater Commons.
KDC Solar had asked for a delay in hearing the application because its original
engineering firm, Birdsall Engineering, filed
for bankruptcy after being charged by the state with money laundering and
conspiracy, causing KDC to hire a new engineering firm, board officials said. The
proposal remains “essentially the same.”
The Kirby property was the battleground of a landmark legal battle in the 1990s
over Bedminster’s zoning ordinance that allows only one housing unit per 10
acres. The landowner challenged the ordinance, but lost after a protracted
A historic barn on the property, considered by many as an iconic image of Bedminster’s
rural character, was demolished this year because of its poor condition.