Lewis County IDA Approves Five Renewable Energy Incentive Applications

 

Published: July 15, 2021 at 01:00 p.m.

By: Press Release from Lewis County IDA

 

Lewis County IDA Approves Five Renewable Energy Incentive Applications

 

LEWIS COUNTY, NY – The Lewis County Industrial Development Agency (LCIDA) Board of Directors have approved incentives for solar and wind projects investing a total of $236,000,000 in Lewis County.  Payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) were approved at the May 6th and June 3rd LCIDA board meetings.  

 

Solitude Solar, LLC is underway with construction of four community solar projects in the Town of Lowville and Town of Martinsburg.  These projects will generate, in total, 13.6 megawatts of clean energy to feed into the local power grid and allow renters, homeowners and business owners to save money from the electricity generated by the projects.  According to NYSERDA, individuals can subscribe to a community solar project and earn credits on their electric bill every month, accessing the benefits of solar without installing panels at their home.  Approved PILOTs will result in annual payments starting at approximately $23,000 to Lowville Academy and Central School, $5,000 to South Lewis Central School, $8,000 to Town of Lowville, $6,000 to Town of Martinsburg and $27,000 to Lewis County. 

 

Number 3 Wind, LLC will be the fourth approved wind farm in Lewis County.  With an expected construction start date of Spring 2022, the project will include 22 Vestas wind turbines and 4 GE 2.3-116 wind turbines to be located on leased land of private property located in the Towns of Lowville and Harrisburg, NY.  The project will generate 103.9 megawatts of energy.  Approved PILOTs will result in annual payments starting at approximately $152,000 to Lowville Academy and Central School, $195,000 to Copenhagen Central School, $78,000 to Town of Lowville, $79,000 to Town of Harrisburg, and $326,000 to Lewis County.  

 

These projects are in line with New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, achieving its goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030. Since wind and solar are unique land uses, the assessment structure for renewables has lagged behind the implementation of legislation. Therefore, PILOT agreements are necessary for developers to have reliable long-term financial projections to build projects and for the host community to benefit.  

 

“I see solar energy production as a continuation of Lewis County’s legacy as an energy exporter,” said Cheyenne Steria, Lewis County IDA Director of Finance & Incentives.  “We all see and remember the wind farms, but Lewis County has had hydroelectric energy production for almost 40 years.  As our communities’ work to get more thoughtful on the siting of newer technologies, we can continue to see our property taxes and cost of living driven down.  Lewis County is uniquely positioned to use our natural resources as a revenue stream.”  

 

The LCIDA Board of Directors also accepted incentive applications for three additional projects; one by NY Solar One (Town of Martinsburg) and two projects by ClearPath Energy (Town of New Bremen). The incentives would result in approximately $15,784,000 in project investment. The LCIDA will host public hearings on the proposed projects in the coming weeks.  

 

If you are interested in learning more about renewable energy in Lewis County, the Lewis County IDA has developed an online Smart Growth Solar resource center for developers, landowners and the community which includes Lewis County processes and helpful documents. The LCIDA most recently added a map of Lewis County Solar Projects (Active, Approved, or Under Review) and a schedule of upcoming public hearings. For more information visit naturallylewis.com/initiatives/smart-growth-solar

 

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