Lewis County launches ‘county-wide solar process’ for landowners, developers

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LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWTI) — New resources are now available for Lewis County landowners and developers regarding the growth of solar energy.

Lewis County and the Lewis County IDA have launched its Smart Growth Solar Resources, aiming to help draw awareness to solar projects in the county, as well as learn the priorities and goals for solar development. According to the LCIDA, this is following New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, to achieve 100% zero emissions electricity by 2040.

These resources answer questions on why the county is “talking about solar;” the county’s intent, which includes preserving agriculture; information specifically for landowners and developers; and a Smart Growth Solar Webinar series.

A listed goal for this program is to preserve agriculture, the county’s largest industry, but providing incentives for low-quality land.

Specifically the LCIDA added that if solar developers choose to develop on “prime agricultural land,” an agreement can still be reached with a landowner and soil composition will determine incentives for each individual project.

Farmlands that will have higher incentives include prime if drained, farm of statewide importance, marginal land, or land that has not been actively farmed in 18 months.

The LCIDA stated that the “county-wide solar process” focusing on “welcoming solar development opportunities and preserving our best agriculture lands that, through direct and indirect impacts, contributes so much to our local economy.”

These new resources were developed through a partnership with Lewis County Planning, Real Properties, Lewis County Soil and Water and local attorneys.

The full Lewis County Smart Growth Solar resource page can be viewed on the Naturally Lewis website.

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