Solar Energy Continues to Dominate City Business

(File photograph.)

More discussion of solar energy within the city, including a rooftop array at the police station, rebuttal from a Ward Hill contractor and proposed zoning restrictions on future projects, returns to the Haverhill City Council Tuesday.

Councilors are scheduled Tuesday to vote on a proposed power purchase and net metering credit agreement between the city and MassAmerican Energy, Marlborough, related to a planned 59 kilowatt rooftop solar array at Haverhill Police Station, 40 Bailey Boulevard. It calls for the purchase of power generated for the police station at a 20-year, fixed rate of 9.25 cents per kilowatt hour. MassAmerican, under an entity known as Haverhill PS Solar LLC, would design, engineer and install the solar array. Under the agreement, construction is to begin 180 days from the effective date and be operational one year following. It is estimated to produce nearly 75,000 kilowatt hours of electricity for the police station in its first operational year, according to documents. The city would also assist “in obtaining all necessary approvals and permits.” The agreement also extends, at the provider’s option, a five year “renewal term” after the initial 20-year period.

Tom K. Wu, chief executive officer, of Invaleon during a recent WHAV interview.

Tom K. Wu, chief executive officer, of Invaleon during a recent WHAV interview.

A previous MassAmerican contractor, Invaleon Technologies Corp., is also on the agenda at the request of City Council President John A. Michitson. Invaleon was the subject of remarks by Haverhill School Committeeman Shaun P. Toohey. Tom K. Wu, chief executive officer, is expected to address councilors. In an interview at his Ward Hill headquarters WHAV Aug. 1, Wu asked for a “recantment” of Toohey’s statement and an apology from either the city, school committee or Toohey himself.

In other business, councilors are being asked by Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. to schedule an Oct. 4 public hearing on a proposed zoning ordinance amendment “to regulate and restrict the creation of new solar energy systems.” Pillsbury also asks the matter be referred to the Haverhill Planning Board for a Sept. 14 hearing.  The proposed regulation would include “large scale ground-mounted…and roof-mounted installations, by providing standards for the placement, design, construction, operation, monitoring, modification and removal of such installations.” The zoning proposal would also “address public safety, minimize impacts on environmental, scenic, natural and historic resources and to provide adequate financial assurance for the eventual decommissioning,” according to a summary.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m, Tuesday, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

One thought on “Solar Energy Continues to Dominate City Business

  1. Toohey speaks out of his rear end and this one may cost the city some money if he doesn’t apologize. That’s what happens when you have no clue as to what is going on and play politics with everything.

    So the city wants regs now on these solar projects ? Don’t we already have a solar farm in place ?