At 140 Tihonet Road in Wareham, AD Makepeace and Borrego Solar propose one of three large ground mounted solar projects that will destroy 176 acres of pristine globally rare Pine Barrens, biodiversity, wetlands, cause water pollution and destroy Native American cultural features. Makepeace and Borrego have already clearcut 330 acres adjacent to 140 Tihonet Road for industrial solar stretching for miles from Carver to Wareham.
AD Makepeace CEO Jim Kane conveniently located the 140 Tihonet Road solar project on top of one of the highest hills in the area — visible from the Bourne Bridge and Plymouth. He claims that it’s necessary to level the hill and remove at least 1 million cubic yards of sand and gravel to site the solar project. This is a scam. Kane claimed this in a letter to the Wareham Conservation Commission stating, “will be used for our on-going agricultural activities and is therefore not subject to earth removal permitting….” Read the letter below.
Kane’s claim was a pretense for evading the Wareham Earth Removal Bylaw — as the company has done for decades. In 2022, CLWC sent a demand letter to the Wareham Selectboard for enforcement of the Bylaw against Makepeace and others.
In 2021, the Conservation Commission granted Makepeace the Order of Conditions permit for the solar project at 140 Tihonet Road– and Kane obtained this permit under false pretenses claiming the earth removal is exempt from an earth removal permit.
At the site visit with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) analyst Alex Strysky and Staci Minihane of Beals+Thomas in 2021, Borrego Solar project manager Zach Farkes stated to the effect “Jim Kane finds the hills with the good sand and that’s where we site the solar projects. He takes out the sand first then we come in with solar.” Farkes explained the scam behind Kane’s solar projects at 160 Tihonet Road, Charlotte Furnace Road, Farm to Market Road in Wareham and the earth removal projects that are now solar at 59 Federal Road, 176 Federal Road, Cranberry Road (Cranebrook) in Carver and others in the area.
Makepeace’s “agricultural” earth removal operations are a pretense to obtain sand and gravel that it sells through its subsidiary Read Custom Soils. Hundreds of trucks a day leave Read loaded with sand and gravel Kane’s operation has excavated under the false pretense of “agriculture.” In fact, this is a prohibited sand and gravel quarrying operation. The sand and gravel from 140 Tihonet Road will be used to generate sand and gravel revenue for Makepeace and Read — all under false pretenses.
Read more about Cranberry Country Corruption and the sand and gravel mining industry in Southeastern Mass.
In 2021, local residents appealed the Town’s planning board permit to stop the project but lost for lack of legal standing. Makepeace sites its projects so it has no abutters who will be able to appeal local zoning decisions. During the litigation Makepeace got the Town Clerk to submit a false affidavit saying the resident did not file a legal notice on time for the lawsuit. When this was revealed as untrue by the Clerk’s own emails, she was forced to withdraw the affidavit.
There is another lawsuit pending challenging the 140 Tihonet Road solar and mining project. A hearing on Makepeace’s motion to dismiss is scheduled in Brockton Superior Court on Nov. 22, 2022.