OTTAWA — Putnam County Commissioners Thursday heard an update on a proposed solar farm near Miller City that would bring tax revenue into the county.
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. The farm would be under a transmission line east of Miller City.
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. There would be over $1 million a year in tax benefits, according to Reinkemeyer.
Borchers said a meeting will be held for the public to attend in the first quarter of next year to learn about the project and hear from community representatives. Notice of the meeting will be provided a month before the scheduled meeting to adjacent land owners of the project.
Avangrid began informing area landowners about the project in mid 2018 and had a meeting on the topic.
“Avangrid met Wednesday with the Power Siting Board to have a pre-application meeting to go through expectations that need to be submitted for the project,” Reinkemeyer said. Avangrid’s intent is to submit the application for the project to the Siting Board next year.
If approved, the project will be completed in 2022 and start construction on the solar farm as early as fall 2021 or spring 2022.
“We need to finish the pilot process with the commissioners and are moving along with that and then go through the Power Siting Board process,” Reinkemeyer said.
He said the project will deliver clean renewable energy to a customer on a competitive scale and will bring in good revenue to the county. Funding could be used to improve the areas’s water treatment plant.
Vincent Schroeder, Putnam County commissioner, said the solar farm is important for Putnam County and the landowners in Miller City getting income from the land on lease payments.
“The county will receive some tax money from the project as well as several jurisdictions. The school is the major benefactor and will receive $1.3 million a year in taxes,” Schroeder said.
He said the commissioners have not yet approved the project, but are in a framework of negotiations.
In other business during the commissioners meeting Thursday it opened four bids for Tawa Run ditch in Putnam County to remove trees this winter in the ditch to alleviate flooding in the area. The bids will be taken under advisement and reviewed at the commissioners next meeting in two weeks.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.