A solar project that’s a public-private partnership is moving forward in the village of Sherman.
The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency board approved a 9.62 megawatt project by Solar Liberty Sherman LLC and Solar Liberty Sherman II LLC.
The $13 million project would be constructed on 34 acres in the town and village of Sherman.
Village Mayor Colleen Meeder said the village’s wastewater treatment plant, which is near the proposed solar array, already has solar panels on it through Solar Liberty and was looking to add more under a $7 million upgrade to the plant. She said electricity is a major cost of running the plant and now there will be two community solar arrays.
Meeder said another concern is that the property where the arrays were being proposed is agricultural, “Solar Liberty has been great. Our operation and maintenance agreement involves keeping it agricultural. So, we’re going to continue to enrich the property. There’s seed mixture plans in the OMN, there is plans for grazing, so they’ll be then contracting with farmers, and also, I believe it’s called apiculture, where involves bee keeping, and that is well on the property.”
Meeder said less than 300 households in the village have sewer and water infrastructure, “So the fact that this lease money is going to help support that type of infrastructure for our community as well as the PILOT you’re working on today, the host community agreement, and then once the inter-connection happens we can, as we get closer to that, we’re going to start negotiating for a discount on resident and commercial electric bills.”
The IDA board approved a Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT), sales tax abatement, and mortgage tax abatement for the project.