Funding Approved For $12.5M Ashville Solar Project
ASHVILLE — Two smaller solar projects have been given financial approval to be built in the town of Harmony.
During this week’s Chautauqua County Industrial Development meeting, board members voted in favor of the Ashville solar array projects. One is 5 megawatts and the other 3.75 megawatts, on approximately 33 acres of land in the town of Harmony. Construction cost will be about $12.4 million. The address for the development is 1606 Blockville Watts Flats Road, Ashville.
“We’ve worked very closely with the town supervisor (of Harmony) who very much is in favor of this. They’re excited about what this brings to the landowner and what this brings to the town,” said Richard Dixon, chief financial officer for the county IDA.
Adam Rizzo, president of Solar Liberty, said they are excited about the project. “We think it will bring great value to the local community as well as offer green electricity to the surrounding area,” he said.
Board member Mark Odell, who is also a Republican county legislator from Brocton, requested Rizzo share “performance data” of the project, which Rizzo agreed. We will be carefully monitoring this system, since that’s the way we will be compensated for building the solar system is the production value. We’d be happy to share that data,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo was also asked by another board member what happens when snow lands on the solar panels. Rizzo said the panels are placed at a 20 degree angle and some of that snow falls off on its own. Heat removes the snow as well. “When you get a little bit of electricity, it creates a little warmth and the snow will eventually slide right off,” he said, adding that solar power has become a great fit in Western New York.
On Wednesday, the board members approved a resolution to give a Payment In Lieu of Taxes deviation of $4,000 per megawatt. The company has a “host agreement” with the town of Harmony for taxes. After that resolution was approved, the board gave final approval for the project.
Last month, the county IDA gave preliminary approval during the March board meeting. At that meeting, developers shared that the project would create 50 construction jobs and cost about $12.4 million to build.