Newfane reaches deal on solar projects

·2 min read

Jun. 23—NEWFANE — The town board approved host community agreements Wednesday night with a company planning two solar power generation projects in the town.

Agreements were arranged between the town and the solar energy projects of Omni Navitas Holdings LLC, which include the 5 megawatt project of Patrick Danebrock of Drake Settlement Road, and the three 5 megawatt projects of Nouryon Chemicals LLC of Lockport-Olcott Road.

The agreements require that Omni pay the sum of $3,500 per megawatt of generated power each year for each solar project. This is over a period of 30 years, with escalators of 25% after the first 10 years, and another 25% after 20 years.

"It's been a long affair, and a lot of hard work put in by the planning board, zoning board, the town attorney, and the consultants that we've hired." Newfane Supervisor John Syracuse said. "We're hopeful to see this be realized that the town is receiving $3,500 per megawatt for these two projects."

The Dannebrock solar energy project recently had its area variance approved at the town's zoning board meeting on Tuesday. This was due to the towns solar energy law forbidding the construction of solar projects on parcels of land that have at least 50% Prime Farmland, or Farmland of Statewide Importance. Roughly 85% of Dannebrocks property was designated as Prime Farmland, hence the need for the variance. It will now be going back to the planning board for continuing its site plan.

In addition, the town awarded a contract for an Olcott Beach berm as well as drainage improvements to Mark Cerrone Inc., out of Niagara Falls. This will be for another stone breakwall REDI project for the purpose of protecting shoreline homeowners on the west side of the pier in Olcott. Mark Cerrone Inc. won the contract with a bid of $797,662. Work on the project is expected to begin close to July 4.

A contract for a Lake Road waterline crossing was also awarded to Rochester Pipeline Inc., out of Rochester after they made a bid for $62,825. This is for water delivery improvements in order to make water delivery more efficient for residents. Syracuse said that this was desired solely for the want of improvements, and not to fix any problems that might exist with water delivery.