Last night at a Laurens Town Board meeting, Ryan Storke of Storke Renewables LLC, made an introductory presentation to the board on the 3,500-acre solar farm his company is planning in West Laurens.

According to AllOTSEGO, Storke reported that the State of New York has determined such projects will pay a minimum $2,500 per megawatt hour in annual PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes) to local taxing entities. That’s $875,000 on the 3,500 solar panels that Storke Renewables LLC is planning to install.

When Storke was asked by County Representative Rick Brockway, R-Laurens, “all we will see will be black panels from West Laurens to Morris?” and Storke replied “yes”.

Storke was also asked about benefits to local property owners, saying that the developer will be offering $1,000 per acre per year leases.  In addition, the company will pay any additional taxes that might result from a property being reclassified from agricultural to commercial, a reclassification required by New York State.

Last night's meeting was a preliminary one with a more formal proposal by Storke Renewables LLC to the Laurens Town Board coming up on March 9.

For more on this story provided in partnership with AllOTSEGO, click here.