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IDA OKs tax breaks for county solar projects in Stockton and Pomfret

Two more solar projects have been given approval for tax breaks to be constructed in Chautauqua County.

During the recent county Industrial Development Agency meeting, board members approved Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreements for a project in Stockton and another one in Pomfret.

The Stockton solar project is technically two projects divided in half. One is for Barnes Road East and the other on Barnes Road West. Both projects are being built by Seaboard Solar, LLC of Connecticut. The two projects were listed separately but were discussed as one project, since they sit next to one another. The west side is expected to cost about $7.7 million to construct while the east side will cost $8.7 million. Combined the two solar projects will be about 9.35 megawatt in size. They will be placed on around 60 acres of land.

The Stockton Town Board approved a special use permit for the projects earlier this year.

Matt Longman with Seaboard Solar said there will be very little site mitigation on the southern end of the two projects. A small portion will be visible from the road, so town officials asked them to plant some trees to hide it. A decommissioning plan was also approved by the town.

The Pomfret project is being constructed at 9824 Route 60, near Eagle Street. The land is owned by Double A Vineyards Land Holding. This project is being done by Solar Liberty. It will be a 4.675 megawatt solar project, placed on 13.4 acres of land. Including setbacks, there are 22.5 acres of land total. The development is expected to cost $6.6 million to construct.

IDA officials said the Pomfret Town Board approved a special use permit in November 2021. Nathan Rizzo with Solar Liberty said the town board also approved a decommissioning plan.

Rizzo said where the project is being placed, residents won’t be able to easily see it. “Based upon our findings, the system has limited viewpoints from Route 60 and the adjoining properties. At this point, it’s limited with vegetative screening,” he said, adding that one year after it’s completed, Pomfret has reserved the right to require more screening.

Officials with Solar Liberty said they hope to break ground this year.

Solar projects seeking Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreements continue to be quite common at county IDA meetings. In June, the board approved tax agreements for Portland. In May, tax agreements for solar projects were approved for French Creek, Hanover, and Farel Road in Pomfret. In April, tax agreements were approved for a solar project in Dewittville. In January, a major solar project — 220 megawatts — was approved for tax breaks in Ripley.

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