LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Lewis County Industrial Development Agency approved five incentives for solar and wind projects, investing a total of $236,000,000 in Lewis County.
Solitude Solar, LLC has already started construction of four of the community solar projects in the Town of Lowville and Town of Martinsburg. The projects combined will generate 13.6 megawatts of clean energy that will feed into the local power grid and allow renters, local homeowners and business owners to save money.
Approved payment in lieu of taxes 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.
According to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, 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.
Construction is expected to start in the Spring of 2022 for Number Three Wind, LLC, which will be the fourth approved wind farm in Lewis County. This 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.
The projects are a part of 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.
Lewis County IDA Director of Finance & Incentives Cheyenne Steria said the projects will benefit the community.
“I see solar energy production as a continuation of Lewis County’s legacy as an energy exporter,” Steria said, “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 in the Town of Martinsburg and two projects by ClearPath Energy in the Town of New Bremen. There will be public hearings on the proposed projects in the coming weeks.