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Published: March 31, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.


Lewis County Launches Smart Growth Solar Resources for Landowners & Developers


LOWVILLE, NY – When New York State passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in July 2019 to achieve 100% zero emissions electricity by 2040, we knew that we needed to thoughtfully come up with a plan of action to work with affected municipalities, landowners and solar developers in a proactive and efficient way that welcomes the opportunities of renewable energy and preserves our largest industry, agriculture, at the same time.


The Lewis County IDA (LCIDA), in partnership with Lewis County, have engaged in thoughtful conversations to truly understand the solar process in Lewis County.  The LCIDA has worked to determine how to implement a process to become more aware of solar projects in Lewis County and proactively understand priorities and goals for solar development.  The LCIDA partnered with Lewis County Planning, Real Properties, Lewis County Soil and Water and local attorneys throughout the creation of a ‘county-wide solar process’ that ensures that we are welcoming solar development opportunities and preserving our best agriculture lands that, through direct and indirect impacts, contributes so much to our local economy.


In an effort to continue to educate landowners and developers on Lewis County’s Smart Growth Solar initiative, partners have developed an online resource center for landowners and developers. The intent is to provide insight on the process and policies in place for Smart Growth Solar in Lewis County. Our goal is to preserve our largest industry and best agricultural land by providing better incentives for use of low-quality land is necessary to preserve long-term viability of our agriculture industry. While ensuring that Landowners rights are served, if developers choose to develop on prime agricultural land, they can still come to an agreement with a landowner, the soil composition will determine the incentives for the project. Developers will receive a more attractive incentive for the use of other types of farmland, such as prime if drained, farm of statewide importance, or marginal land. Developers will also receive a more attractive incentive for utilizing land that is NOT actively being farmed within the past 18 months.


We encourage landowners and developers to visit https://naturallylewis.com/initiatives/smart-growth-solar for access to webinars, research papers and Lewis County specific solar policies.  


About Lewis County IDA  

Our mission is to attract and enhance industrial and economic development, help create jobs and maintain economic stability within Lewis County.  We will work to promote and enhance the economic conditions, recreational opportunities, prevent unemployment and economic deterioration, and ensure the prosperity of our businesses, industries, communities, and citizens, leading to an overall better quality of life.