Haverhill Hexagon Solar Project Talks Tabled After Residents, Councilors Express Concern

Kristine Lane neighbor Diane Hudson spoke out against a proposed Hexagon Energy solar array at the Feb. 26, 2019 City Council meeting. (Dave Morrison photograph for WHAV News)

Concerned neighbors spoke out at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting against a proposed solar installation in Haverhill. On the heels of the Conservation Commission’s approval of the project, Hexagon Energy outlined the 20-year lease they hope to enter into at 1037 Broadway. Abutters—and several councilors—expressed skepticism about the plan.

Addressing the Council on behalf of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Hexagon Energy, Scott Remer said he has met with Haverhill planners and engineers about the parcel, and that the special permit his company would receive is contingent upon bringing the blighted property up to code.

“It’s enough to power approximately 40 homes. It’s not massive. It’s a small array,” Remer said, adding that the panels will sit on approximately one-and-a-half acres.

Expressing opposition, Diane Hudson, who lives at 28 Kristine Lane, worried about how her property value would be impacted as a result of the installation.

“I still think that this is about money rather than about anything else. Nobody is really caring about the people on Kristine Lane,” Hudson said. “What we’re caring about is that Hexagon makes some money for 20 years.”

Councilors Michael S. McGonagle and William J. Macek were among the local leaders left with unanswered questions after Tuesday’s presentation. Macek’s concerns, among others, centered around the lack of clarity in Hexagon’s proposal. He also touched on aesthetics, arguing that the city wants to prevent something as “hideous” as the solar display currently located on Hilldale Avenue.

Given the opposition from abutters and unanswered questions from councilors, the Council voted to hold off on making decisions relating to the array for three weeks—until March 19—so that Hexagon can clarify concerns raised on Tuesday night.

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