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Middlesex Solar farm incentives approved

At an Aug. 2 special meeting of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (Yates County’s Economic/Industrial Development Agency) approved multiple resolutions related to two projects — one that will allow homeowners to buy power generated by a solar farm in Middlesex.

SOLAR FARM: The SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review), PILOT (Payment in lieu of Taxes) Deviation, and Approving Resolution for a large community solar farm in Middlesex were all passed unanimously. SUN8 PDC LLC, a subsidiary of Distributed Sun LLC, is building two adjoining projects, one of 2 megawatts and the other 1.7 mw. It is one of several constructed in the region in an agreement with Cornell University to provide electricity to approximately 3,000 homes, remotely metered, at a savings of 10 percent over standard NYSEG rates. The Middlesex project will supply about 400 homes.

According to Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC), the project investment is projected to be $6.5 million, and provides 70 construction jobs during the 6-month schedule. The company has applied for 30-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with FLEDC, to pay $4,860 per mw, equaling $17,982 the first year, and increasing 2 percent per year. Griffin says the current taxes on the $55,000 land value will continue to be paid by property owner Jeanette L. Daum. SUN8 will pay taxes based on the change of use and the value of improvements. All taxing entities are aware of the PILOT deviation. Griffin says that even without the 30-year PILOT, the solar project could pay nothing in taxes for up to 15 years by state exemption. The Town of Middlesex prefers to approve the 30-year tax incentives rather than receive no taxes for 15 years.

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