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Solar company seeks feasibility study

ELLICOTTVILLE – A company from Jefferson County has approached the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency about conducting a study to determine the feasibility of bringing clean, renewable energy to businesses throughout the county, according to Corey Wiktor, executive director of the IDA.

“This company has been successful in installation of panels that have reduced the power cost to businesses in the Oswego region,” Wiktor said. “One of the plans we have started to look at would be building a smaller scale solar farm in the Olean area and surrounding it with small businesses.”

County development officials are not releasing the name of the firm at this time.

One question revolves around the need and feasibility in an area such as the Southern Tier, where sunlight is not always available. Wiktor said the businesses would have to be tied into the power grid to be able to draw power from traditional sources when solar is not optimal.

Businesses that are considered to be good candidates for solar power would not have to make any capital outlay, Wiktor said. The entire cost of the project would be handled through the company that would install the panels.

The process is still in talks with county businesses and other entities. More talks are expected over the coming weeks and months as a potential plan is developed.

In other talks, 4646 Genesee LLC, in Ellicottville, has received an extension on its sales tax abatement agreement with the IDA. The original contract called for the tax abatement to expire in November 2013. Now it will expire this November.

The company is reconstructing a former auto repair garage and furniture factory located on East Washington Street in Ellicottville.

“What they need is a bit more time to complete the project,” Wiktor said. “They are looking to sign a couple more tenants to complete the final phase.”

According to the extension request from Paul M. Gregory, of the Ellicott Development Co., the extension is only to be able to complete the project with no property acquisition to take place.

“Everything that they originally promised has been delivered upon,” Wiktor said. “They just need a bit of time to finish it off.”

The IDA’s next meeting will be June 22 at its office at 3 Washington St., Ellicottville.

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