WATERLOO –– Construction of two solar energy projects in Seneca Falls should begin this spring, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors was told Tuesday.
Daniel Compitello and George Reed of Delaware River Solar Project said the project, first proposed in 2015, has overcome numerous delays and received necessary approvals from the town. They said the company has reached agreement with the Seneca Falls school district on a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement and will seek PILOTs with the town of Seneca Falls and the the county next month.
Compitello said the solar projects will be on two separate parcels not far apart on Gravel Road and Route 318 in the north end of the town close to the border with Tyre.
Each will produce about two megawatts of electrical power from the solar panels, enough to provide power to about 800 homes, Compitello said.
“When done, people can sign up to get solar power. They will get a 10 percent discount on their monthly electric bills, plus get locally sourced power,’’ Compitello said. The power is added to the grid, with consumers able to sign up to receive solar power. Preference will be given to Seneca Falls residents and businesses, it was noted.
The two projects will be built on land leased on a long-term basis from two separate local families, who will continue to farm around the panels. Compitello said a decommissioning plan is on file and the projects will have landscaping to screen the panels. Each project will consist of 10 to 20 acres of land.
“Solar projects are exempt from property taxes for 15 years. But we still want to agree to PILOTs. We will go to the Seneca Falls Town Board on Feb. 4 to ask for a PILOT from them. That will cover town and county taxes,’’ Compitello said.
In other action, the board voted to endorse new chairman Bob Hayssen’s proposal to increase the number of standing board committees from eight to 13.
The 2020 committees will be finance; assessment & insurance; personnel; government operations; public works; planning, development, agriculture & tourism; mental health; public health; human services; public safety; Indian affairs; environmental affairs; technology and a new committee, water and sewer treatment and management and operations.