The old landfill in Lunenburg, soon to be a solar farm

For years, old capped landfills have stood as scars on the landscape, good for nothing, reminders of the bad old days of free-for-all waste disposal.

Now, they’re enjoying a renewed sense of purpose as more and more communities are looking to put up windmills or solar panels on these otherwise useless parcels.

Here in central Massachusetts, Lunenburg and Lancaster are both pursuing the idea. In Lunenburg, the plan is to build a solar farm that will generate 1.5 mega-watts of electricity at the old landfill off Youngs Road.

While developing more solar energy facilities is a worthy undertaking, not all sites may be appropriate.

A proposal in Charlton is especially troubling.

At issue is the 65-acre Fay Mountain Farm, purchased in part with a state grant intended to preserve agricultural land. The original intent was to run it as a model farm, to educate people about farming, and to keep the unfarmed acreage as conservation land. The Mid-State trail runs through one corner of it.

The farming idea did not succeed, but it has become a popular area for hikers and nature lovers. Developing it as a solar farm would destroy that. Surely there must be a better place in town to build one.

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