PAUL SMITHS – The Franklin County Industrial Development Agency is set to finalize the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with EDP Renewables regarding the Jericho Rise Wind Farm in Chateaugay and Bellmont.
IDA CEO John Tubbs told IDA board members during the organization’s monthly meeting that the schedule for finishing up the PILOT is on pace for the agreement to be finalized by the next IDA meeting in August.
Mr. Tubbs also confirmed that Chateaugay and Bellmont have passed a new Host Community Agreement – a related payment from EDP to the towns – which reflects state law that the payment divisions match the same ratio as the taxes that would be paid to each town.
The IDA’s PILOT agreement with EDP Renewables was ironed out in May, in collaboration with and on behalf of Franklin County, the towns of Bellmont and Chateaugay, and the Chateaugay Central School District.
“This confirms what we all agreed to then,” said Mr. Tubbs after the meeting.
The PILOT covers the company’s new 37-turbine wind farm at the Jericho Rise location – 29 in Chateaugay and eight in Bellmont.
The agreement calls for the towns to share payments of $4,000 per megawatt per year – approximately $310,000 – with Franklin County and the Chateaugay Central School District. The school district will receive the lion’s share of the PILOT money – 59 percent or about $183,000 – with the county receiving 13 percent – about $40,000 – and the towns splitting the remaining 28 percent, which equals about $87,000.
The towns will also jointly receive about $389,000 per year through the Host Community Agreement.
Engineers affiliated with the project reported last month that construction had begun on the pads where the turbine towers will be erected.
The Jericho Rise wind farm project was first proposed about 15 years ago, but was put on hiatus in 2009 by then-developer Horizon Wind Energy of Houston. It was revived in 2014, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the wind farm would be one of four renewable energy projects to share $206 million through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. By then, Horizon had been purchased by Energias de Portugal, which is now developing the project through its EDP Renewables subsidiary.
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