Fearing Hill solar project inches forward

Jun 14, 2022

The proposed solar project on Fearing Hill was discussed in a Planning Board meeting again Monday night, as board members heard more details from the applicant and more concerns from abutting residents.

The proposed 20-acre solar array, to be located on a 44-acre site at 91 and 101 Fearing Hill Rd., has drawn much criticism from the public since it was first proposed roughly a year ago.

Members were provided a new hydrology report assessing the possible effects of the proposed solar project last month. That hydrologist will present the findings at an upcoming meeting.

Applicant Joe Shanahan updated the board on two items: A noise study has been completed, and the updated cost of decommissioning the panels to about $185,000.

After the applicant’s brief updates, abutters took to the microphone.

Eric Lintala, a resident who’s brought his concerns to the board before, spoke on behalf of the native ways and historic trails that he said run through Fearing Hill.

“I believe there has been more than enough evidence provided by individuals and organizations to warrant more investigation,” Lintala said, “and to question whether this solar project is endangering Wareham’s cultural, historical and archaeological resources.”

Shanahan responded to Lintala’s concerns by saying that there’s no documentation that says the features Lintala listed are protected cultural resources.

“Ancient ways are not a protected cultural resource,” he said.

Other residents shared their concerns over what effects the solar array may have on Fearing Hill’s many wells, the effect on local groundwater and the possibility of erosion.

The board thanked concerned residents for their time and continued the public hearing to June 27.