Solar energy PILOT program on Town Meeting agenda

By Andrea Ray | Feb 14, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Wareham Director of Assessment Jackie Nichols presents the PILOT program before the Board of Selectmen.

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.


Comments (4)
Posted by: Newlyaresident | Feb 15, 2017 07:48

What about the array located between Sand Pond and Rt. 25? Are there/will there be any PILOT monies? And how much is the district projected to receive on an annual basis? The tax rate increased for 2017. Where's the money? Rates should have gone down!

Posted by: Andrea Ray | Feb 15, 2017 10:05

Hi Newlyaresident,

Thanks for the catch! You're right, there are several arrays in Wareham. I've updated the story to reflect that. Unfortunately I can't speak to the amount of money the town could receive, as it wasn't disclosed in the meeting.


Posted by: Newlyaresident | Feb 15, 2017 11:19

Thanks for updating, but the money question isn't about the PILOT program, it's about where the savings are being reflected for the energy being generated. Presumably savings a major part of the reason that the arrays have been installed. Maybe Wareham Week should do a story and get to the specifics of what the Borrego installation is doing for Onset Fire District? Thanks.

Posted by: Rosebud | Feb 15, 2017 14:24

Speaking of solar, I would love to see the Town install either solar or wind power to Town properties and parking lot lights.


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