Burrillville solar projects see delays; company granted extensions on three plans

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BURRILLVILLE – A Virginia-based developer that has completed much of the legwork for three separate solar projects in town has been granted one year extensions on special use permits approved by the Zoning Board of Review.

Hexagon Energy requested the extensions through development manager Buzz Becker, and were granted all three unanimously following a hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

The oldest of the three projects, a 750-kilowatt ground mounted array known as Victory Highway Solar, was extended through August 22, 2022. The property at 730 Bronco Highway will see panels covering 180,000 square- feet of a 21.92-acre lot owned by Montigny Enterprises. The site would be accessed from Broncos Highway, sitting 500 feet west of the Branch River, across from Burrillville Middle School.

Construction on the array was originally scheduled to begin last fall and completed early this year, but Hexagon has reportedly not yet been able to secure all of the needed approvals, on this and its other projects, such as agreements with the electric company.

The company signed an exclusive option to purchase the property in 2019 that was set to expire this September, but filed a right to extend the agreement with Montigny in March at a cost of $15,000.

Planner Ray Goff pointed out that many such projects have seen delays over the past year due to the pandemic, potentially making zoners more willing to grant extensions.

A second Hexagon project on Clear River Drive known as Saint John Solar has been extended through Sept. 28, 2022. There, the company aims to build a 500-kilowatt ground mounted system on a property owned by Woonsocket Consumer’s Coal Company, better known as Consumer’s Oil. Hexagon plans to build an array on two acres on the southern portion of that general industrial lot, for a community solar project.

The company signed an option to lease a portion of the 9.6 acre property, which is currently used as a propane storage facility. The array is expected to allow area property owners to partner with National Grid to receive a discount on their electric bills, and a special use permit was needed to exceed the limit of 20 percent lot coverage.

The final extended project, the largest of the three, aims to see a 750-kilowatt canopy built on a 10-acre property owned by Going Green Realty. The lot at 2205 Bronco Highway currently holds Pool Pirate, along with accessory business Northwest Trucking. Zoners granted an extension on that project, known as Bronco Highway Solar, through Nov. 12, 2022.

The three Hexagon projects seeking extensions join a much larger fourth solar project granted a special use permit extension by zoners in July: 2.71-megawatt array known as Douglas Pike Solar.

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