Once a vibrant site for horse racing, concerts, and other community events, the Great Barrington Fairgrounds sat dormant for the majority of the past 35 years. In 2012, the 57-acre property was purchased by a Sheffield couple, Bart and Janet Elsbach, with the vision to develop it into a resource for the community.
Lodestar partnered with the Elsbachs through their non-profit organization to locate a 650-kW solar project on an unused 3-acre portion of the property. Special attention was given to minimize the visual impact of the solar array, ensuring that the original race track and grandstands were unaffected. S&C Electric led the construction process from racking, paneling, and electrical construction through the interconnection process with National Grid.
The lease payments on this site will help support the continued restoration of the Great Barrington Fairgrounds site and the dynamic local events hosted there.
The net metering credits for the project are sold at a discount to the local Great Barrington Housing Authority (GBHA), serving low income residents in the Berkshires. Nan Wile and the board of the GBHA were excited to participate in a project that provides clean energy, supports community development, and saves money for the housing authority.