City Seeks to Replace Bankrupt Solar Vendor at Landfill

Haverhill’s former Groveland Road landfill.

The city intends to find a new solar energy contractor for the former Bradford landfill, after the existing bankrupt vendor sought concessions.

Haverhill Purchasing Agent and Energy Manager Orlando Pacheco told city councilors Tuesday re-bidding under a new phase of solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) incentives, known as SREC Three, offers a faster route toward completing the project at the Old Groveland Road landfill site.

“SunEdison has had plenty of time to pull the project off. Instead of trying and forcing ourselves to make this work with SunEdison…just rebid it under an intentive structure that’s going to be in place longer.” Pacheco said. “Part of the problem is trying to go from SREC Two to SREC Two Extension…SREC Three is being designed to be a much longer term solution, albeit not as lucrative a solution, but it does provide a stability to probably have some savings and re-use the landfill… I can’t see anything in the next two weeks that SunEdison is going to say, ‘we can pull this off now.’”

In an update requested by Councilor Colin F. LePage, Pacheco noted discussions have continued between the city and SunEdison of Maryland Heights, Mo., since the company’s bankruptcy filing last April suspended its plans for a 2.1 megawatt solar energy project.

“SunEdison had basically reached out to the city and says if we’re flexible on negotiating price, we can move forward. That discussion, frankly, needs to be an open book discussion. We just can’t take them at their word,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco explained “the clock is running out” on the amount of renewable energy credits (SREC) and net metering credits SunEdison’s proposed project can qualify for.

“SREC Two remained in place and then there was no net metering, so the legislature actually had to increase the public cap on net metering,” Pacheco added. “That project, if it were to go forward, would have been moved into the SREC Two Extension which is, essentially, if the project was complete by Jan. 7 it would be given an extension. But that extension also reduced the SREC incentive by 20 percent.”

Pacheco added, when questioned by Vice President Melinda E. Barrett, any new project presentation by the city would wait until receipt of a “third party analysis” and pending the mayor’s support.

Meanwhile, according to Pacheco, another ground-mounted solar project in the upper Hilldale Avenue industrial park, by Bluewave Capital, is undergoing tests and it is expected to be fully online within the next couple of weeks.

2 thoughts on “City Seeks to Replace Bankrupt Solar Vendor at Landfill

  1. The city of Haverhill is in the process of seeking proposals to put solar panels on the roof of Tilton School. Parents with students in that school should be outraged the mayor and Pacheco are doing so without a certified structural engineering study being done. The both of them have intentionally lied over and over to citizens of Haverhill regarding other energy saving initiatives in the city. He we go again !!!