By The Business Review (Albany)

A Chicago company announced plans to operate rows of solar energy panels on 130 acres of farmland in Greene County, N.Y.

The $60 million project in Coxsackie would generate between 15 and 20 megawatts, the equivalent of enough power to run at least 12,000 homes. The company, CornerStone Power Development LLC, said it would be the first so-called solar farm upstate.

The solar farm is expected to be up and running in early 2012, with construction starting next year. About 25 construction workers will be needed. The farm will initially employ six full-time workers.

Power generated from the farm will likely be sold through a utility to users downstate.

The deal was brokered with the Greene County Industrial Development Agency. The IDA created a subdivision to perform site prep and handle regulatory approvalsâ¿¿and then sign CornerStone to a 25-year lease, with an option for another 25 years.

⿿[Monday⿿s] announcement represents the first of many similar-type projects that can carve out a special niche for our county,⿝ said Paul Slutzky, chairman of the IDA.

In addition, the IDA and CornerStone will combine on a project to spread the use of solar power in homes and businesses in the area. The two will sell solar panels below market rates and offer sales tax credits to give people incentives to have solar panels installed at their houses or companies.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010