WATERLOO — The proposed Trelina Solar Energy Center has generated even more interest in solar projects. Many landowners, particularly farm owners and operators, are being approached to lease land to solar energy companies.

That’s the case with the Oese-Siegel family, which owns Gem Lake Farms in the town of Waterloo. Trelina wants to lease land from them for its 80 megawatt solar facility.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County cautions that before signing on the dotted line, landowners are encouraged to do their due diligence and understand how the process actually works.

“Most often, once a contract is signed, it and the terms it contains are binding,” explained CCE representative Judy Wright.

CCE of Seneca County will host “Navigating Solar Leases and the Solar Development Process” from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in its third-floor conference room downtown, in the Main Street Shop Center.

Farmers and rural landowners are invited to ask questions about solar leasing and hear from experts. There will be live and virtual presentations by industry experts to help participants understand the solar development process, make informed decisions, and decide whether negotiating an agreement is right for them.

The agenda:

• From 9:30-10:15 a.m., Loren Pruskowski, a farmer and representative of Ecolegacy Values, will speak on “Understanding the Solar Development Process and What Solar Companies Are Looking For.”

• Attorney Scott Kurkowski will speak from 10:15-11 a.m. on “Understanding Solar Lease Agreements and Tips for Negotiating a Contract.”

• A question-and-answer session with Pruskowski and Kurkowski will be conducted from 11-11:30 a.m.

• Lunch will be provided from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Jeffrey Kehoe from the stat Department of Agriculture & Markets will speak from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on “How Municipal Regulations Affect Solar Development Opportunities at the Local Level.”

• There will be an optional opportunity for discussion among in-person participants from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

For those who can’t or do not want to attend in person, a virtual option to participate will be offered.

The cost to attend in person, $15, includes lunch. The cost to participate virtually is $5. To register, go to https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/solarleases_245.

In-person participants are asked to wear face coverings. To ensure social distancing, space may be limited.

Parking is available behind the Shop Center building.

For more information, call (315) 539-9251, ext. 109, or email jlw24@cornell.edu.

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