WATERLOO — For the first time in its nearly 50-year history, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency has approved an incentive package for a solar electric-generating project.

The IDA Board of Directors, meeting by teleconference Thursday, voted 8-0 to offer inducements to Delaware River Solar for its proposed Canoga Road solar project in Fayette.

The company will receive exemptions from sales taxes on materials, supplies and equipment, and the mortgage recording tax. It also negotiated a PILOT agreement with the IDA.

A public hearing will be scheduled and a cost-benefits analysis conducted before final approval is given.

Delaware River Solar representative Daniel Compitello told the IDA the New York-based company has built facilities producing a total of 100 megawatts of electricity since 2016. Most of its projects generate 2-5mw.

“We work with the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency and utilities like New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric,” Compitello said. “Our electricity connects to the power grid, and people can subscribe to sign up for electric power generated by solar and receive a 10% credit on their electric bills. There can also be an anchor customer or large user we can contract with for power.”

According to Compitello, the Fayette Planning Board has approved the company’s site plan. Delaware River Solar will use 8.9 acres of a 26.8-acre cattle farm owned by Charles and Rita Partee on Canoga Road for stationary, ground-mounted solar panels that will produce 5mw of electricity. Compitello noted that is different from the company’s proposed Seneca Falls solar project, which will use solar panels mounted on movable tracks that will follow the sun throughout the day, generating about 20% more power than the stationary panels.

“We are leasing the land from cattle farmers,” Compitello said of the Fayette project. “The fences will be relocated, and we feel this will help support that farm’s future with our lease payments. It’s a family farm and has been for a long time.”

• Also Thursday, the IDA approved its 2021 budget, and Executive Director Sarah Davis said three people have expressed interest in filling a vacant board seat. Davis said interviews with the trio of applicants will be scheduled.

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