Solar energy PILOT program on Town Meeting agenda
The Wareham Board of Selectmen has placed a payment program which would allow Wareham to receive payments from local solar energy companies on April’s Town Meeting agenda.
On Tuesday, Jacqui Nichols, Wareham’s director of assessment, came before the board with a draft PILOT program which she and Town Counsel Richard Bowen wrote for a local solar array.
PILOT, which stands for Payment In Lieu Of Taxes, is a financial program where towns will give the solar companies a required payment plan. That way, the town will know what to expect for tax revenue, and the solar companies will understood their future burden. The payments are based on personal property value.
Wareham is currently home to solar arrays owned by Borrego Solar and Altus Power. The PILOT program in question was designed for the Altus Power array, located on Upper Boundary Road, off of Charge Pond Road.
“The program lets us know what the town’s profits from these arrays will be for the next 20 years,” Nichols explained.
The selectmen approved adding the program to the Town Meeting agenda unanimously. Its ultimate implementation will be up to voters.
Nichols says that solar power companies currently attempting to move at least three more arrays into the town.
“That’s why it’s important that we sort this out now,” she said.