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Canadian alternative energy producer plans solar farm in Pomfret

Canadian alternative energy producer plans solar farm in Pomfret

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A Canadian alternative-energy company wants to put up a solar farm in the Chautauqua County town of Pomfret.

Saturn Power Inc. of Baden, Ont., is seeking to erect a 3.5-megawatt solar array on a 35-acre agricultural field at 10035 Christy Road. It would include solar photovoltaic modules mounted on a post-supported racking system, along with switch gear, combiner boxes, inverters, transformers, both underground and overhead electrical lines and poles,mostly on a fenced-in concrete pad.

The electricity would be sold at a discounted rate through New York State Electric & Gas Corp.'s Community Distributed Generation program.

The company, through Rak 2 Solar LLC, is seeking $375,000 in sales and mortgage recording tax breaks, plus a 25-year payment in lieu of taxes on the property from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, starting at $17,500 in the first year and rising 2% per year.

It 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.

Saturn Power has four similar solar projects in various stages of development in Chautauqua County, although it's not operating there yet. The company hopes to start construction on this project by the third quarter of this year and finish by the second or third quarter of 2022.

The $5.46 million project includes $3.09 million for equipment, $614,000 for site work and $1.54 million for construction, with the rest for fees and soft costs. It will be funded through $4.9 million in private loans and $546,000 in equity. The land, which is owned by Double A Vineyards Land Holdings LLC, will be leased. A public hearing was held on July 20.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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