OTTAWA — Putnam County Commissioners Tuesday heard an update on the proposed solar farm near Miller City.
The commissioners met with Jeff Reinkemeyer, Eastern Renewables Development director, and Dylan Borchers, attorney representing Avangrid.
The proposal is to bring a 150-megawatt solar farm that would bring in $1.3 million in additional property tax revenue.
Avangrid Renewables has been identified as the developer for the potential project. In 2012, the county passed a resolution to create an alternative energy zone.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Reinkemeyer said the land for the substation for the solar farm has been located.
Avangrid began informing area landowners about the project in mid 2018. A meeting was held in December with the Putnam County Commissioners to discuss the proposed project and Avangrid has met with the commissioners since that meeting to discuss details of the project.
“All of this is to refine our cost estimate for the project which ultimately enables us to be more competitive,” Reinkemeyer said.
There would be over $1 million a year in tax benefits, Reinkemeyer said.
Borchers said a road use plan needs to be put together and the Power Siting Board will want to see the agreement. The application will need to be submitted to the board with plans to submit this fall. Discussions will be continued with the county engineer on a county roads agreement. The board is the agency that will need to approve the project.
“The tax revenue that the solar farm will bring into the county will benefit the various taxing bodies. Approximately half of the taxing income will go to the schools and it’s a very large revenue source for county taxing bodies,” Borchers said.
Miller City is considering annexing the property where the solar farm would be located.
If they choose to do that and meet the requirements for a qualified energy project determined by the director of the department of development services for Ohio, then because an energy zone has been established by the commissioners, they are automatically entitled to make a payment in lieu of taxes.
Avangrid officials plan to meet with the commissioners again in August to continue discussion on the topic.