WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) – It’s the final stretch for a community solar project in Jefferson County.
Toronto-based solar energy company OYA plans to build a 20-megawatt solar farm in the towns of Clayton and Orleans. It will generate enough energy to power 30,000 homes.
The project would be broken down into four separate five-megawatt sections, collectively covering 170-acres straddling the town line of Clayton and Orleans.
They’re ironing out details for a tax deal with the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (JCIDA). Company representatives met with JCIDA officials in Watertown Wednesday morning.
The deal is known as a PILOT agreement, or payment in lieu of taxes.
Such an agreement means an entity makes payments to local governments that would be less than the property taxes it would normally pay.
If OYA’s agreement is approved, the company can break ground on the project.
“We’re very encouraged by today’s discussion of the advancement of this project and the high level of understanding of OYA understanding local needs and having had some engagement with the school and the towns already,” JCIDA treasurer Robert Aliassa Jr. said.
With a tax deal in place, an OYA representative says the project could be up and running within a year.
“We’re excited to be in front of the IDA and have these discussions about what I’ll call a fully baked project and really what we need to do now is check the final box that allows the project to be financed and get construction underway,” said Greg Rossetti, OYA Solar.
The PILOT application will be reviewed July 11 and if approved, OYA will start breaking ground for construction and the project could be up and running within 6 months to a year.