Lexington Landfill Solar

Solar Canopies and Fixed-Tilt Ground-Mount Solar

Weston & Sampson provided engineering design, local permitting, geotechnical exploration, land surveying, and various other services from September 2015 through late 2017 for two solar parking canopies and a fixed-tilt ground-mounted solar array on a compost yard at the Lexington Landfill and Compost Facility. Services were provided to both Brightfields and Tesla (Solar City at the time), the project developer and contractor, respectively. Weston & Sampson was first contracted by Brightfields to provide preliminary site investigations, civil design, and local permitting services. We performed geotechnical investigations including borings, soil sampling, and foundation support recommendations for the proposed solar canopies and ground-mount array. We also provided land surveying and a stamped boundary survey plan for engineering design. Weston & Sampson prepared and filed a Notice of Intent for construction near an existing wetland with the local Conservation Commission. We also prepared and submitted the Site Plan Review application to the Lexington Planning Board, including preliminary permitting design plans. We attended public hearings and meetings on behalf of the client with both the Planning Board and Conservation Commission and provided additional supplemental information requested by the respective departments to get the project approved. Based upon geotechnical investigations and discussions with the town, Weston & Sampson provided specifications, plans, method criteria, and technical requirements for subsurface improvement of the proposed solar canopy locations using Dynamic Compaction.

Weston & Sampson determined Dynamic Compaction of the subsurface was required at the proposed foundation locations for the solar canopies. We provided engineering design plans, analysis and on-site oversight of the Dynamic Compaction performed and related geotechnical work, including 15 site visits over 6 months. We also provided a Methane Gas Hazard Analysis and Monitoring Plan for construction on a composting facility. During the planning phase for the Dynamic Compaction, Weston & Sampson developed a plan for Vibration Monitoring and Analysis during Dynamic Compaction to assess potential impacts of ground vibration to a nearby underground high-pressure gas line.

Leading up to and during construction, Weston & Sampson was contracted by Tesla to perform various engineering, geotechnical, land surveying, and permitting services. We also prepared a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. Additionally, we provided design plans for a few design changes requested by the client during construction. Weston & Sampson worked with the local authorities to get the design changes approved, including seven iterations of supplemental information submittals to the Conservation Commission throughout construction. Weston & Sampson provided land surveying services to create multiple Record Drawings at different dates used for additional engineering design, including Stormwater Management Design Improvements and a revised Stormwater Operations & Maintenance Plan. We also provided a civil as-built plan for the finished project.

After construction was completed in 2017, Tesla (formerly Solar City) sold the project to Syncarpha Lexington, LLC. Weston & Sampson was contracted by Syncarpha to perform continued monitoring and inspection services pursuant to an Order of Conditions administered by the Conservation Commission.

Key Project Features

  • solar development on compost yard
  • site plan review and wetlands NOI
  • geotechnical exploration
  • oversight of dynamic compaction and vibration analysis
  • stormwater management system design
  • pre- and post-construction land surveying
  • post-construction wetlands monitoring


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