Convalt project progressing through Hounsfield planning process | Business

HOUNSFIELD – Robert and Inday VanEpps were curious about the gigantic solar panel manufacturing plant that would be built across from their Route 12F home. So they attended the Hounsfield Town Planning Council meeting on Tuesday evening to find out more about the project.

The couple have lived on Route 12F for 40 years. They once owned 7 acres of land where Convalt Energy plans to build the plant near Watertown International Airport.

“My brother and I used to hunt deer there,” VanEpps told Convalt officials after the meeting.

The VanEpps said they were happy with what Convalt officials discussed in a public hearing Tuesday night. They then met with company officials to learn more.

The factory employee parking lot would be closest to the couple’s home, while the truck entrance is planned on the west side of the building.

“I’m glad to hear the trucks will be on the other side of the building,” Ms VanEpps said.

During the public hearing, the couple asked a few questions about the operation of the plant.

Another woman wanted to know more about the factory’s dry pond system. Michael Lasell, an engineer with MBL Engineering, Mansville, assured him that no drainage water would end up on his property.

Mr. Lasell told the board that the company is working to comply with Federal Aviation Administration requirements for the building’s height, lighting and dry-pond system due to its proximity to the airport.

Although the renewable energy company can’t do anything to keep the plant out of view from Highway 12F, plans call for using federal wetlands and some woods as a buffer for the 300,000-meter facility. square feet, he said.

The company plans to return to the board next month for further discussion of the project

“Things are going pretty well,” planning board chair Yvonne M. Podvin told company officials before they left.

The plant would initially employ 200 workers and would operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with 60 to 70 people working per shift.

Last week, the company announced plans to build a second factory at the airport business park.

If the project is fully developed, the Convalt plant could create 4,555 jobs in 10 years.

Convalt’s sister company, DigiCollect, a software company that makes sensors to monitor home networks and transmission lines, would also build a 50,000 square foot facility near the airport.

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Louisa R. Loomis