SHELTON — A solar garden could soon be growing along River Road.

USS Shelton Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Minnesota-based US Solar Corp., has applied for a special exception for property at 866 River Road for a proposed 975-kilowatt community solar garden on 5.9 acres of the 102-acre parcel.

The Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday voted to accept the application. A public hearing will be held at a date to be determined.

The property is owned by Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority and is a capped landfill.

The application states that USS Shelton Solar selected the site because it offers unobstructed access to natural sunlight, does not impact any wetlands or neighboring properties, has adequate space for setbacks or landscape screening and its proximity to distribution facilities.

The existing United Illuminating substation is also relatively close to the project.

The application states that the “project will generate enough electricity to power approximately 225 homes annually and interconnect directly to the existing distribution system of the United Illuminating Co.

“Residents, businesses and public entities in and around (the) city of Shelton who are United Illuminating customers may subscribe to a portion of the electricity generated and receive bill credits on their United Illuminating bills,” the application states. “In this way, local residents and businesses receive a direct economic benefit from the project.”

According to the application, the Shelton public school district has expressed interest in becoming a subscriber to the solar garden.

The application states that the project is mostly composed of solar panels, inverters and racking. The developer would be using a ballasted system to avoid disturbing the underlying closed landfill. Racking is installed on top of concrete footings to ensure long-term stability and structural soundness based on detailed structural and geotechnical analysis. Footings also facilitate decommissioning at the end of the life of the project, as they are easily removed, the application states.

“We also use Tier 1 solar panels to achieve high efficiency and conform to high quality control and safety standards,” the developer states. “Most importantly, we will provide non-invasive, ongoing maintenance of all our solar gardens, both equipment and site conditions. On a regular schedule, we will analyze project performance, detecting and diagnosing any production anomalies, identifying and addressing underperformance issues, managing service teams and technicians and contacting landowners and the utility if necessary.”

USS Shelton Solar LLC is contracted to deliver electricity for 20 years beginning on the date of commercial operation, which is expected to occur in 2020.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com