Solar Construction At Hickory Ridge Comes To A Halt


Map of Hickory Ridge Golf Course showing plans for development of a 26 acre solar array. Photo:

Despite almost perfect building weather, construction of the Hickory Ridge Solar Project on West Pomeroy Lane in Amherst has been at a standstill for the past three weeks.

The 27-acre solar project was issued a special permit on September 12, 2019. The original solar developer dropped out. Amp Energy stepped in to construct and operate the project, in partnership with the town of Amherst. During late summer of 2022 the special permit was extended for an additional year.

There has been some work on the project. Initial site work began on January 25, 2022, when a work crew cut down 190 mature trees on the north side of the old golf course. Many of the trees are still lying where they fell or have been piled around the building site. Erosion barriers were installed around the perimeter of the building site in March and a traprock road was built during April. Some chain link fencing was installed around the site in early May, but work on the fencing stopped after a few weeks. 

Two handmade cardboard address signs line either side of the entrance to the site along with small signs labeled, “Danger, construction area, keep out.” The entrance road is blocked by a gate tied closed with a chain. The only sounds coming from beyond the gate are bird songs and the only construction seems to be nest building.

It is not clear why construction on the site has come to a halt. It is also not known if Amp Energy has been able to obtain a building permit for the project. Attempts to acquire more information about the project have been unsuccessful. Emails to town building officials have not been answered and little information about this huge project is available to the public.

The June 2, Amherst Town Manager Report says that work has begun on the installation of solar panels, but there are no solar panels or any other related materials on the property.  The last project update signs posted by the town at the Hickory Ridge trail entrance claim that construction will end in August/September. It seems highly unlikely that the solar field will be completed and operational by that date. In the meantime, the residents of Amherst can only wonder what is actually going on.

Most recent project update posting at the site of Hickory Ridge solar installation. Photo: Michael Lipinski
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1 thought on “Solar Construction At Hickory Ridge Comes To A Halt

  1. People should know that any request for information or documents is a request for public records under state law. Town employees must respond to a public records request either by providing the documents or explaining why the request is being denied.

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