BURRILLVILLE – A solar developer is seeking a zone change to build a carport array on a property on Broncos Highway, noting the lot has been used for purposes that don’t fall within its current zoning district laws for more than 20 years.
Virginia-based Hexagon Energy, LLC hopes to build the 750-kilowatt array on a 10-acre property owned by Going Green Realty. The lot currently holds Pool Pirate, along with accessory business Northwest Trucking.
But first, zoning on the property will have to be changed from village commercial to general commercial, a designation the company says is more in keeping with the land’s current use.
“This rezoning seeks to rectify nonconformance of current uses on the property – discovered during the development of a solar carport,” notes a letter to the Town Council signed by Hexagon Development Manager Buzz Becker.
The lot, Becker notes, served as a junk yard for 20 years under previous ownership. It was purchased by Going Green in March of 2016, and since that time, the lot has been used for pool equipment, supplies and water filling. Upwards of five trucks and 10 trailers are parked on the site, and Becker notes his company hopes to store those vehicles beneath the proposed solar carport on a southwestern section of the property.
Hexagon has signed a lease option for the property at 2205 Bronco Highway with hopes to build the carport-style array on a 65,300-square-foot section that will interconnect with a National Grid circuit. Becker notes the solar canopy would provide clean energy to 210 homes annually, and would require “little to no,” tree clearing.
The project has been before planners for more than a year, and is currently pending master plan approval, contingent on submission of rezoning.
“Implicit with this development is the acknowledgement that the current volume of trucks on the property exceeds what is allowed in village commercial,” noted Becker. “In consultation with the Planning Board, Town Planner and Zoning official, we have confirmed that general commercial would be appropriate for current activities as an allowed use.”
Members of the Town Council sent the request back before planning for a recommendation on the potential zone change.