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Developer plans 33-acre, $20.8M solar farm in the Southtowns

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Mar 11, 2024 – By Jacob Tierney – Reporter, Buffalo Business First

Solar Liberty plans to bring a 33-acre solar farm to Evans.

The Amherst company is seeking financial incentives from the Erie County Industrial Development agency to support the $20.8 million project.

The plan is to build two solar arrays on undeveloped land at 7612 and 7690 Southwestern Blvd. They would generate a combined 8.25 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 6,000 typical single-family homes.

The company has already reached a host community agreement with the Town of Evans, according to documents submitted to the ECIDA.

Solar Liberty is seeking $3.5 million in tax incentives from the ECIDA.

The solar farm would use a community solar model. This means the power would be added to the public grid, and utility companies will receive energy credits from utility companies based on the value of the electricity.

Residents and businesses will be able to subscribe to the farm for free, receiving an allocation of its electricity production and a discount on their electricity bill of up to 10% of the energy credits generated by their share. The farm’s owner will receive the remaining 90%.

Solar Liberty plans to sell the completed farm to Catalyze Holdings, a Texas-based company, though Solar Liberty will continue to handle the day-to-day operations and maintenance.

Solar Liberty installs solar arrays for homeowners and businesses, as well as major utility-scale projects, which account for roughly half its total business, according to general counsel Paul Lavoie.