Solar developer hires community representative, intends to open local office in Posey County

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MOUNT VERNON, Ind (WEHT) In an effort to keep the public informed about the Posey Solar Project, Capital Dynamics and Tenaska have hired local resident Stacey Wagner as a community representative. One of her first tasks will be to assist in setting up a local office with regular hours.

Wagner works full time as a billing clerk. She is a member of the E’ville Iron Street Rod Club, which hosts the annual Frog Follies. She has held many offices in the organization and is currently president.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to be able to work with landowners, adjoining landowners, county officials and company officials by being involved with this project. And I’m excited by how I believe this project can benefit our county,” Wagner said.

In addition to hiring a community representative, Capital Dynamics and Tenaska have launched a website and a Facebook page with information about the project.

The panels are projected to take up 3,000 acres of farmland. If the project goes through as planned it would be one of the largest solar farms in Indiana. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022.

A study conducted by Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute, in collaboration with Dr. Kenneth Richards of Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, reports that the Posey project would result in:

  • Direct Construction Jobs: Equivalent of 250 full-time jobs for 16-18 months.
  • Direct Operations Jobs: Full-time employment for up to 5 workers overseeing operations and maintenance for the expected 35-year project life.
  • Local Goods and Services: Annual expenditures on payroll, goods and services of almost $1.3 million per year for the 35-year operations period.
  • Gross Domestic Product: Contribution of $47.8 million to Posey County GDP during construction, with an additional $1.2 million per year during operation.
  • Tax Contribution – Payment of property taxes in excess of $35 million over the operations period, with very little burden placed on public services like schools or police.
  • Economic Ripples: Additional local and regional jobs and spending as an indirect outcome of economic activities created by the project, including 92 equivalent full-time jobs during the construction phase and 9 jobs during the 35 years of operations.

Representatives are in the initial stages of working with county officials on a tax abatement that would maximize the property tax benefit to the county while also ensuring the project remains competitive with similar solar fields. An economic development agreement will pair a tax abatement for the project with economic development payments, which would provide additional income to the county.

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(This story was originally published on January 11, 2021)

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