PILOT for smaller Barre solar project evenly splits $31,500 among town, county and school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 September 2021 at 8:14 am

BARRE – The Barre Town Board on Wednesday approved a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the developer of a 4.5 megawatt solar project on Route 98 near Lime Kiln Road.

AES DE Devco NC is developer of the “Baird Solar Project” on land owned by Joshua Baird, and Jacob and Melissa Monacelli.

The PILOT agreement calls for AES to pay $7,000 per megawatt or $31,500 total for the first year, with 2 percent annual increases over 15 years.

The money will be evenly split in thirds among the Town of Barre, Albion School District and Orleans County – $10,500 each the first year.

The solar arrays will be located at 4360 Oak Orchard Rd., where the developer can tap directly into a 13.2-kilovolt distribution line. The project doesn’t include battery storage.

There will be 14,118 solar panels and they will be surrounded with a 7-foot-high perimeter chain link fence. There will be 40,543 linear feet of low-voltage and 1,258 feet of high-voltage underground wiring. The project also includes a decommissioning plan.

The plan calls for planting 191 deciduous and evergreen trees along with 92 shrubs and pollinators.

The Orleans County Planning Board last month recommended the Town of Barre approve the site plan and issue a permit for the project.

The Baird project is different from the larger 200 megawatt solar project – Hemlock Ridge Solar – proposed by Community Energy for 1,800 acres in Barre and Shelby.