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Letter: Local proliferation of solar arrays is worrisome

Posted 11/17/20

To the editor:

That Portsmouth needs solar power is a given. However, the proliferation of commercial solar arrays and their encroachment on Portsmouth neighborhoods and natural habitats is …

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Letter: Local proliferation of solar arrays is worrisome

Posted

To the editor:

That Portsmouth needs solar power is a given. However, the proliferation of commercial solar arrays and their encroachment on Portsmouth neighborhoods and natural habitats is worrisome. The town needs constructive zoning policies that will mitigate negative impacts on wildlife areas and/or placement of arrays within 50 feet of residential property, among other problems. 

One small area of Portsmouth’s West Side has seen the development of three solar farms (and a fourth has been proposed), all of which are encompassed by an area of less than a half square mile. The Navy promises two more very near that area. This saturation is resulting in the area taking on an industrial appearance and nearby thickly settled residential neighborhood property values are suffering. 

We may be powerless to influence Navy developments, but it’s not too late to prevent further degradations and eyesores in town-controlled areas. A more carefully crafted solar zoning ordinance is needed. Hopefully the Town Council will revisit the current ordinance and employ a more collaborative approach, considering broader community and expert input during the process.

David Howard

36 Marial Rose Drive

Portsmouth

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.