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Local Taxing Jurisdictions Agree to Amended PILOT Agreement
With Owners of Maple Ridge Wind Farm and Extension Through 2031

01/06/19 11:00am       By: Nick Altmire
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    Lewis County, NY- Eight local taxing jurisdictions have negotiated an
    amended Payment in Lieu of Taxes(PILOT) agreement with the owners of the
    Maple Ridge Wind Project for the final fours years of the original agreement,
    while extending the PILOT through assessment year 2031.

    The previous PILOT agreement was set to expire during assessment year
    2021, but project owners, Flat Rock Windpower LLC and Flat Rock Windpower
    II LLC, requested to renegotiate the final four years of the agreement due to
    financial downturns and assessment challenges.

    Representatives from the affected tax jurisdictions together with the Lewis
    County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) held numerous meetings with the
    owners of Maple Ridge Wind Farm to negotiate the amendment to the existing
    PILOT and the extension.

    The total value of the new PILOT over the fourteen year period will result in
    $42 million in payments from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm to be split between
    the taxing jurisdictions. The split will use the 2005 tax rates from the original
    agreement for tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020 and the 2018 tax rate for the
    extended years of 2021 through 2031.

    The eight jurisdictions and the approximate percentage each receives (based
    on the 2005 rate) are as follows:

  • Lowville Academy & Central School (44.1%)
  • Lewis County (26.9%)
  • Town of Martinsburg (12.8%)
  • Town of Harrisburg (11%)
  • Copenhagen Central School (2.6%)
  • Town of Lowville (2%)
  • Town of Watson (0.3%)
  • South Lewis Central School (0.2%)

    Under the original PILOT agreement, Maple Ridge was to pay $8,075,250 for
    each year from 2018 to 2020. The renegotiated rate will be $7 million for 2018,
    $6 million for 2019 and $4 million for 2020. The payment for 2021 will be $3.5
    million, with a $2.5 million payment for the years 2022 through 2024, After that
    the payment will settle at $2 million annually for the remainder of the PILOT.

    Provisions of the amended PILOT will include the potential for variable
    payments in addition to the annual base payment, based upon market price
    triggers, PPA price triggers, and capacity adjustments, if any.

    The amended PILOT also contains language that will require Maple Ridge
    Wind Farm owners to hold periodic meetings with representatives of Fort Drum
    to address the Army's concerns and issues posed by the project, including
    curtailment periods.

    The next step will be for the IDA to execute to agreed upon amended PILOT
    agreement between the taxing jurisdictions and Maple Ridge Wind Farm. IDA
    Executive Director Eric Virkler anticipates this will take place in the next month
    or so.

    Amended PILOT payment chart: