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$5.7 million in tax breaks sought for Chautauqua County solar farm

$5.7 million in tax breaks sought for Chautauqua County solar farm

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A Canadian alternative-energy supplier is seeking more than $5.7 million in tax breaks for a new solar farm in the Chautauqua County.

Saturn Power of Baden, Ont., wants to erect a 5-megawatt solar array on 35 acres of agricultural land at 3570 Stone Quarry Road in the Town of Sheridan.

The $7.8 million project would be operated by Rak 1 Solar, a Saturn subsidiary, and the electricity would be sold at a discounted rate through New York State Electric & Gas Corp.'s Community Distributed Generation program.

The project is virtually identical to an earlier one by Rak 2 Solar in the Town of Pomfret, although this one is bigger.

As before, Saturn said in its application that it needs to have a known periodic payment to taxing entities in order to arrange financing for construction and operation of the $5.46 million project.

"The economics are marginal enough that the sales tax and mortgage recording abatements are required for profitability," the company said.

The company is seeking $40,000 in sales tax breaks and $100,000 in mortgage recording tax benefits, plus a 25-year payment in lieu of taxes for the property that would save $5.6 million.

Costs would include $2.205 million for construction, $4.412 million for equipment and $877,000 for site work plus fees. Aside from $780,000 in developer equity, the financing comes from private loans.

If approved, officials hope to start work in the third quarter and finish by the second or third quarter of 2022. Saturn is also pursuing two other solar power projects in the county.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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