Smart Growth Solar

Why are we talking about solar?

Solar companies are actively seeking incentives for proposed projects in Lewis County.

Lewis County currently has over 2,800 acres of proposed development.

Agricultural land has high economic value in our community and is our largest industry.
We can welcome renewable energy while protecting our largest industry at the same time.
Encouraging smart, thoughtful and planned solar development for our communities.

Our Approach

Utilize Lewis County IDA Uniform Tax Exemption Policy (UTEP) to determine incentive rates based on:

  • If land is actively farmed and contributing towards commercial agriculture
  • Land/soil type as defined by USDA: Prime / Prime if Drained / Land of Statewide Importance
  • Developers will receive a more attractive incentive for utilizing land that is considered "marginal" and that is not actively being farmed!

Our Intent

Preserve Agriculture

  • Preserve our largest industry and best agricultural land.
  • 12% of all land in Lewis County is cropland.
  • Agricultural lands are "easier" to develop because they are generally large, flat, undeveloped lots.
  • Our best agricultural land is worth more to us—we want
    developers to "think twice" about pursuing prime ag lands.

Better Incentives for Use of Low Quality Land

Providing better incentives for use of low quality land is necessary to preserve long-term viability of our agriculture industry

Keep Landowners' Rights, Their Rights

If developers want to develop on prime agricultural land, they can still come to an agreement with a land owner - they will receive less of an incentive because that land is worth more to our economy
Copyright © 2015 - Lewis County Economic Development / Lewis County IDA