ANDERSON – The company wanting to construct a 120-megawatt solar farm in northern Madison County is offering a one-time payment of $850,000 to the county.
Invenergy is proposing to construct the solar farm on 700 acres including 35 separate parcels of land between 600 West and 350 West and from 1000 North to 1300 North.
The project is expected to cost an estimated $110 million and be completed by 2023.
The Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to consider a special exception for the project at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The vote could determine the future of the project.
Opponents of the project are citing the potential impact on property values and the fact that some residents will be surrounded by the solar panels.
The company has indicated it plans to construct a buffer around the solar panel locations.
Invenergy is seeking a traditional 10-year abatement (100% abatement on investment the first year, even-declining abatement of 10% per year, until project is paying 100% taxable value at year 11) based on the minimum investment of $110 million in the county.
The $850,000 payment will be made to the county as early as 2021 or once the project is completed. Unlike with the $1.3 million payment made to the county by the Wildcat Wind Farm near Elwood, there is no dedicated use for the funding for the proposed solar farm.
The Madison County commissioners designated the wind farm money for use on economic development projects in the northern part of the county.
Last year, $360,000 of the funding was appropriated for the business park being developed northeast of Alexandria. There is a proposed $1 million project for a new Hines Career Center in Elwood.
The abatement is a reduction in taxes paid on the new investment from the project, not a complete tax relief as land taxes will continue at normal taxing rate without any abatement.
Madison County Councilmen Jerry Alexander and Pete Heuer were named to a special projects committee by Council President Anthony Emery to negotiate an agreement with Invenergy.
Alexander said Monday said the original offer from Invenergy was a $750,000 payment.
“We felt it should be more,” he said. “We looked at projects in Randolph and Shelby counties.
“We have not agreed to anything,” Alexander said. “It still is being negotiated.”
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.
If you go
What: Invenergy seeking special exception for solar farm
Who: Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday
Where: Council chambers, Madison County Government Center