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County close to deals on wind farms

BP agreed to pay Young County $12,500 per megawatt in lieu of a 100 percent abatement on property taxes. Cantrell, the private attorney hired to represent the county in the wind farm negotiations, said BP agreed to put at least 50 megawatts in Young County. "Our reimbursement we'll see from BP is tied to the operating capacity of the project," Cantrell said.

Young County commissioners learned Monday that the financial aspects of two potential wind farm projects appear to be complete, and one of the proposals could be approved as early as next week.

Jay Cantrell told commissioners both BP North America and Gamesa had agreed to financial terms on tax abatement requests that would help the companies build wind farms in the county.

BP agreed to pay Young County $12,500 per megawatt in lieu of a 100 percent abatement on property taxes. Cantrell, the private attorney hired to represent the county in the wind farm negotiations, said BP agreed to put at least 50 megawatts in Young County.

"Our reimbursement we'll see from BP is tied to the operating capacity of the project," Cantrell said. "That hasn't changed. It's still a 50 megawatt project. All indications are it may be bigger."

If the project remains at 50 megawatts, Young County will receive a payment of $625,000 a year for the first 10 years. After 10 years, the abatement will expire, and the county will receive full property tax payments.

"I think we're getting to the light at the end of the tunnel," Cantrell said. "On Thursday, I got the final draft from BP."

Cantrell said the final proposal was what... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Young County commissioners learned Monday that the financial aspects of two potential wind farm projects appear to be complete, and one of the proposals could be approved as early as next week.

Jay Cantrell told commissioners both BP North America and Gamesa had agreed to financial terms on tax abatement requests that would help the companies build wind farms in the county.

BP agreed to pay Young County $12,500 per megawatt in lieu of a 100 percent abatement on property taxes. Cantrell, the private attorney hired to represent the county in the wind farm negotiations, said BP agreed to put at least 50 megawatts in Young County.

"Our reimbursement we'll see from BP is tied to the operating capacity of the project," Cantrell said. "That hasn't changed. It's still a 50 megawatt project. All indications are it may be bigger."

If the project remains at 50 megawatts, Young County will receive a payment of $625,000 a year for the first 10 years. After 10 years, the abatement will expire, and the county will receive full property tax payments.

"I think we're getting to the light at the end of the tunnel," Cantrell said. "On Thursday, I got the final draft from BP."

Cantrell said the final proposal was what he hoped to see so Precinct 4 Commissioner Jimmy Wiley hand delivered copies of the abatement to Olney ISD and Olney Hamilton Hospital.

Under state law, those entities must be informed seven days before the abatement is approved. The final approval can now be considered Monday.

Cantrell said BP has also reached an agreement with Archer County, and Archer County will consider the final approval next week.

"It sounds pretty cut and dry," Precinct 1 Commissioner John Hawkins said.
The Gamesa project is also nearing completion, but Cantrell said final approval won't happen until the new year.

After receiving the proposal from Gamesa, Cantrell said he was surprised and pleased.

"Gamesa is proposing only a six-year abatement," he said. "Most of these projects are 10-year abatements. That's good for the county."

Cantrell said most wind farm abatements are a 60-40 mix where the county abates 60 percent of taxes for the first five years and 40 percent the last five. Over a 10-year timeframe, 50 percent of taxes are abated.

Under the Gamesa proposal, the county would abate 90 percent of the taxes for the first two years, 80 percent in year three, 70 percent in year four, 60 percent in year five and 40 percent in year six. The final four years would have no abatement.

"What's being proposed by Gamesa is a 43 percent abatement if you look at it over a 10-year time," Cantrell said. "That's the numbers on this proposal."
Cantrell said there were still minor wording changes that would need to be addressed before a final agreement was reached.

"They are currently having this reviewed," he said. "They didn't have a particular deadline on getting this done. It may be some time in January before it gets done. I was pleased with the numbers they offered."


Source: http://www.grahamleader.com...

DEC 22 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/29397-county-close-to-deals-on-wind-farms
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