Solar Farms

A photo of what solar panels covering the country-side might look like as several proposed solar farms are looking to build in Lamar and surrounding Northeast Texas counties.

PATTONVILLE —The sun just keeps shining on Prairiland ISD.

Much of a planned solar energy farm to be located in Rivercrest ISD will now be located in Prairiland ISD, according to a tax limitation agreement approved Tuesday afternoon by Prairiland trustees.

As proposed to Rivercrest ISD trustees in April, Delilah Solar Energy Center would be located on 3,000 acres with a proposed 300 to 500 megawatt of energy production and a capital investment of $320 million to $470 million.

However, parent company Invenergy of Chicago divided the project into two separate farms, each located on roughly 1,500 acres northwest of Bogata toward Cunningham with a projected cost of about $200 million and a production of roughly 250 megawatts of electricity.

“One of these farms is bleeding over into our district,” Superintendent Jeff Ballard said.

In fact, 79% of the project will be located in Prairiland ISD, leaving 21% in Rivercrest ISD, according to information to be submitted to the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

As with other proposed solar farms in the Prairiland district, Delilah Energy will pay a total $100,000 each year to be divided proportionately between the two districts in lieu of maintenance and operation property taxes.

The proposed Delilah center will join three other proposed Invenergy-owned farms in Prairiland ISD with the planned construction of Samson Solar Energy I, II and III. A fourth farm — Impact Solar — owned by G.S.E. Twelve LLC, a subsidiary of Lightsource British Petroleum, also is in the works. The district potentially could receive roughly $400,000 a year for 10 years in lieu of property taxes. At the end of a tax limitation agreement, the farms would be placed back on the tax rolls at a minimum 20% of their original value, according to Texas Comptroller Office documents.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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