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Niagara Town Board approves first step toward solar energy project

Groundwork was laid Tuesday by the Niagara Town Board for a project that could provide low-cost electricity to the town and residents.

At its regular monthly meeting, the board unanimously authorized Supervisor Lee Wallace to sign a non-binding letter of intent to allow Nexamp Inc. to start studying a possible solar energy project at the town-owned landfill at 4798 Lockport Road.

Nexamp, which was the second-highest bidder on the project, sets up community solar farms to provide kilowatt hours to local utility companies which can allow electric bill savings of up to 10% for residents and municipalities. The company has 18 such projects in the state.

If approved, the lease with Nexamp would pay the town $58,800 a year plus a 2% annual increase. The proposed deal would also provide an additional $23,000 a year that would be shared with Niagara County and the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District.

Under the anticipated agreement, the project would be bonded to protect the town’s financial investments, such as legal fees.

A public hearing to rezone the land from residential to heavy industrial usage has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 19.

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