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Bradt: Hold special meeting on $4.75m solar initiative


Wed, Sep 23rd 2015 04:00 pm

Accountant sees revenues for county from alternative energy

A North Tonawanda legislator who is also a professional accountant is calling on county lawmakers to authorize an alternative energy deal that, according to estimates, could generate at least $4.75 million revenue and credits for Niagara County over the next several years.

Legislator Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, issued a letter last night urging Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, to hold a special meeting on Tuesday that would allow county lawmakers to speed up the proposal, which allows for construction of a solar power array on county property. Bradt, an accountant, said conservative estimates showed the county could "generate an additional $744,000 in monetary credits over the next 20 years ... and revenue for the county in excess of $4 million" by authorizing the construction of solar arrays at county-owned sites, possibly the county landfill in Lockport.

The credits would help offset post-closure costs at the landfill. Bradt said construction of the solar arrays would be at no cost to county taxpayers.

Construction of the proposed solar arrays would allow the county to receive revenues and credits after being "grandfathered" into a "Remote Net Metering Solar Projects" program managed by the New York State Public Service Commission.

Bradt, Interim Refuse District Director Dawn Timm and Refuse Board Chairwoman Kathryn Lance worked earlier this year to beat a June 1 deadline that ends the lucrative program, submitting a request for proposals on May 29.

"The sooner we meet, the sooner we can start the process of awarding a contract and drafting a power purchasing agreement that will allow us to benefit from the credits," Bradt said. "And, it bears noting, the sooner we can see a solar array constructed and fully operational."

Ross said he would schedule a special meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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