County Commissioners deny solar Hagerstown tax break

Maryland

On August 27, a project representative proposed a payment in lieu of taxes

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Discussion to enter into a PILOT agreement with a national energy corporation did not follow through with County Commissioners on Tuesday.

Greenbacker Renewable Energy Corporation, an owner and operator of renewable energy projects is developing a 10MWac solar project called Solar Hagerstown LLC in Washington County. On August 27, a project representative proposed a payment in lieu of taxes which was in the amount of $6,000 per MWac of installed capacity. 

The project is to be owned and operated by Solar Hagerstown LLC. According to a county report, the Project is being designed to utilize approximately 70 acres of land adjacent to the Holcim Hagerstown Cement Plant. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, county commissioner Cory Meinelschmidt could not vote whether to pass or deny the tax break because he has a financial interest with Greenbacker.

“My biggest fear is that if we continue to have problems with pilots, they’ll eventually move on to a different county and instead of getting some revenue we’ll get none,” Meinelschmidt said.

According to Justin Fike, a consultant for the Solar Hagerstown project, solar project officials will have to discuss what steps to take moving forward. 

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