Heritage Wind touts $54 million in new revenue for local governments over 25 years

Posted 19 October 2021 at 5:10 pm

Press Release, Heritage Wind

BARRE – Over $54 million in new revenue will be generated for the Town of Barre, Orleans County, and local school districts under the terms of two agreements approved this month between local jurisdictions and Heritage Wind.

On October 13, the Barre Town Board voted to approve a Host Community Agreement (HCA) with Heritage Wind that will bring more than $40 million in new revenue to the community over the next 25 years. Payments will increase annually from $1.2 million in the first year of operation to $2.1 million by year 25. These annual payments are based on the installed nameplate capacity in megawatts of the turbine model, resulting in stable, guaranteed payments each year that increase over time.

The Town of Barre collected just under $1.2 million in total property taxes in 2021, meaning the Heritage Wind HCA will effectively double the town’s annual collections, providing much-needed revenue to invest in local priorities, including property tax relief.

In addition to new revenue for the Town of Barre, the project will benefit local schools and county services through a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) agreement. On October 8, the County of Orleans Industrial Development Agency (COIDA) unanimously approved an inducement resolution to enter into a PILOT agreement. Under the agreement, Heritage Wind will pay $13.5 million to Orleans County and local school districts over the next 25 years. That revenue would be allocated as follows:

  • $6.7 million to Orleans County
  • $6.6 million to Albion Central School
  • $200,000 to Oakfield-Alabama Central School

Annual payments for both the PILOT and HCA increase by 2% each year for the first 15 years and by 2.5% annually from years 15-25. Payment amounts are based on a nameplate installed capacity of 184.8 megawatt (MW).

Now that local governments have approved the project’s community benefit agreements, road use agreements, and decommissioning agreements, the project is only awaiting final approval from the state before construction can commence next year.

“It is great to see such a collaborative effort with the jurisdictions come to fruition. We look forward to getting this project permitted and starting construction in 2022,” said Heritage Wind Development Manager Carmen O’Keefe.