Conservation Commission Gives Green Light to New Broadway Solar Array

Ralph T. Basiliere, interim veterans services officer. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Conservation Commissioner Ralph T. Basiliere, community liaison. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The city’s Conservation Commission has given the green light for a new solar energy array in Haverhill.

Last Thursday, the commission held a public hearing to discuss the array, which is being proposed for 1037 Broadway. Commissioner Ralph T. Basiliere, community liaison, said the project creates 250 kilowatts of energy and is expected to be completed by fall of 2019, following three to five months of construction. This is the fifth solar project to be based in Haverhill.

Basiliere spoke highly of the company constructing the project, Hexagon Energy, saying it has gone above and beyond to work around buffer zones and provide screening options for neighboring residents, although the project is largely outside of wetland buffers. As Mayor James J. Fiorentini has expressed interest in clean energy for Haverhill, as well as participation in the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program, Basiliere said the project meets city objectives, saying, “We are definitely pro-solar.”

Several residents expressed their concerns over the project during the meeting. Basiliere said neighbors of the project’s lot feared the impact the array would have on wetlands and how it would affect their view of the neighborhood. Basiliere said, “A number of neighbors made it very clear: they do not want to see solar panels.”

However, Basiliere reminded residents that complaints of obstructed views fall under zoning and not the Conservation Commission’s concerns. With support from the commission, Hexagon Energy must next go before the Board of Appeals before having its plan approved.