Catt. Co. IDA Examines Solar Power Proposal

ELLICOTTVILLE – One of the largest problems that faces businesses looking to relocate, or start up in New York state is the cost of power. The bottom-line effect can be the final consideration for an expansion, or grand opening. A plan to offer a new method has started to make its way through the developmental minds in the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency.

A company from the Jefferson County area has approached board members of the IDA about conducting a feasibility study to determine the ability to bring clean, renewable energy to businesses as a source of lower-cost, event-free power to businesses throughout the county, according to IDA Executive Director Corey Wiktor.

“This company has been successful in installation of panels that have reduced the power cost to businesses in the Oswego Region,” Wiktor said. “One of the plans we have started to look at would be building a smaller scale solar farm in the Olean area and surround it with small businesses.”

One of the questions associated with the projects that could happen revolves around the need and feasibility. In an area such as the Southern Tier of Western New York, sunlight is not always available. Wiktor said the businesses would have to be tied into the power grid to be able to draw power from traditional sources when solar is not optimal.

Businesses that are considered to be a good candidate for solar power would have no capital outlay for the project, Wiktor said. The entire cost of the project would be handled through the company that would install the panels.

The process is still in talks with county businesses and other entities, to include the company. No names have been disclosed at this time. More talks are expected over the coming weeks and months as a potential plan could be developed.

In other talks, 4646 Genesee, LLC, in Ellicottville, has received an extension in their sales tax abatement agreement with the IDA. The original contract called for the tax abatement to expire in November of 2013. The new language would have an expiration of the benefit to take place in November 2014.

“What they need is a bit more time to complete the project,” Wiktor said. “They are looking to sign a couple more tenants to complete the final phase.”

According to the extension request from Paul M. Gregory, of the Ellicott Development Company, the extension is only to be able to complete the project with no property acquisition to take place.

“Everything that they originally promised has been delivered upon,” Wiktor said. “They just need a bit of time to finish it off.”

The next Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency meeting will take place Tuesday, June 24, at 11:15 a.m. at the IDA office, 3 Washington St., Ellicottville.