SENECA FALLS — The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency will learn more about a solar farm proposed for Auburn Road at its monthly meeting later this week.

EDF Renewables will illuminate the IDA board on Suffragette Solar Energy Centre. The project’s name is a nod to Seneca Falls history as the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement.

In addition, EDF Renewables will request a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. Without a PILOT, company officials say the solar project “will not be viable and cannot be realized.”

EDF Group formed a subsidiary, EDF Renewables, to build and operate renewable power plants. EDF Renewables has its own subsidiary, EDF Renewables North America, and the company formed yet another subsidiary in 1994 called Brownfield Group to manage a project in Seneca Falls.

Brownfield Group specializes in the acquisition and redevelopment of properties. Since 1994, it has purchased environmentally distressed real estate and assumed liability for those lands. It has bought 164 properties and located solar and waste-to-energy facilities on underutilized property, focusing on large-scale projects.

It has been actively developing renewable energy since 2011 and has partnered with EDF Renewables on more than 200 megawatts of solar development in western New York.

The Auburn Road project would use 150 acres of land on the east side of Routes 5&20, north of Deer Run Park. It would generate 20 megawatts of electricity to be added to the grid at the nearby Hyatt Road substation.

The number and size of the solar panels and/or arrays isn’t known.

Grant Cushing, a Canandaigua resident who heads Brownfield Group, could not be reached for comment.

Thursday’s IDA meeting is slated for a noontime start in the DHS training room on the second floor of the county office building in Waterloo. Also on the meeting agenda:

• Former state legislator Mike Nozzolio of Fayette will give a presentation on Locate Finger Lakes, a company he founded after he retired from office.

• Board members will discuss a permanent easement on IDA-owned land in Deer Run Park for Specter, a business on Lamb Road in Seneca Falls, and Finger Lakes Agrionics, a new venture planned for Deer Run Park. The easement is for a possible gas line to Route 318.

• Four people have applied to fill a vacancy on the IDA board. They will be interviewed by a committee made up of members of the IDA’s Governance Committee and the county Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development & Tourism panel.

The vacancy on the nine-member board was the result of Robert Kernan being named the organization’s chief financial officer.


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