WATERLOO — More than two years after filing its application, NextEra Energy Resources received state approval to build Trelina Solar Energy Center its 80 megawatt solar facility.

However, before construction can begin in the Packwood and Serven road area, the Florida-based company must file additional plans on how it will comply with state environmental regulations for the facility.

A certificate of environmental compatibility and public need was approved by the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment Nov. 30. The vote was 6-1, with ad hoc member Joe Wukitsch of Packwood Road voting no. The other ad hoc member, Rich Swinehart of Packwood Road, voted yes.

“We are pleased with the siting board’s decision to approve the Trelina solar project,” Trelina spokesman Matt Eissey said. “We look forward to generating good jobs, local investment and new revenue for the town of Waterloo and Seneca County over the life of the project.

“At this time, we are finalizing regulatory filings with the stat and continue to evaluate scheduling for the start of construction. We anticipate making the regulatory filings about the project in the first quarter of 2022.”

NextEra Energy Resources plans to invest $128.2 million in the Trelina project over 15 years. That will include commercial-scale solar arrays, access roads, collection lines, a substation, and an interconnection facility to link it with the New York State Electric & Gas power station in nearby Border City.

The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency has agreed to provide $15.2 million in savings in the form of real property tax breaks and exemptions from paying sales tax on equipment and other purchases. The IDA said a cost-benefit analysis showed the project will generate $3 in benefits for every $1 in incentives.

The solar facility is projected to generate enough renewable electricity to power about 21,000 households. The electricity it generates will be added to the NYSEG power grid.

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