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Candlewood Mountain solar project in New Milford advances

A 90 acre solar project in New Milford has moved one step closer to happening.  The Town Council voted at their meeting Monday night to authorize a Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreement with Ameresco and the owner of the Candlewood Mountain property.  The PILOT agreement is conditional to approval by the Connecticut Siting Council. 


There were some concerns about and objection to the project.  New Milford Mayor David Gronbach says ways to mitigate those concerns were worked into the agreement, including landscaping to hide the project from neighbor views, hiring local employees and to gain approval of a Storm Water Management Plan.


The applicant agreed to post a bond to ensure appropriate landscaping and trees are maintained as a buffer and to bond for damage to any roads as a result of the construction process. The Agreement also contains a provision to hire local people and companies for work performed at the site.

The Agreement establishes the tax liability for the property over the next 20 years and was necessary because while solar projects are encouraged, they are not profitable without some subsidies.

The current taxes paid on the undeveloped property are estimated at $389,958 over the next 20 years. As part of the agreement, the Developer offered to pay $2.1 million over 20 years.  Gronbach says his team negotiated that number up to $2,747,979.


This property was formerly planned as an over 55 community and Gronbach argued that if the solar farm was rejected, the next proposal could have had greater impacts.

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