BOSTON -- State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and state Rep. Jen Benson (D-Lunenburg) announced state approval of bylaw amendments adding two properties in Harvard's Commercial District to the town's Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Facilities Overlay District. Expanding the Overlay District will enable the development of "solar gardens," facilities owned by a group of businesses and residents otherwise unable to install solar arrays on their own property.

"I thank Attorney General Martha Coakley and her staff for working so quickly on approving the warrant for the town of Harvard, in their effort to build a community solar garden, and take further advantage of the Green Communities Act," said Eldridge. "I also have great praise for the Harvard Energy Advisory Committee members in working so hard to propose this warrant."

"Harvard continues to be a leader in promoting solar development throughout their community," said Benson. "I am pleased the state moved quickly in approving these bylaws, allowing the projects to move forward and helping Harvard continue to reduce their energy bills and their carbon footprint."

The Harvard Energy Advisory Committee led the effort to pass the bylaws and has proposed the 493 KW community solar garden. Both bylaws were adopted at Harvard's Aug. 29 special Town Meeting.