An $8 million solar farm will be making its way to Vigo County, generating power for more than a thousand homes. Cypress Creek Renewables, a California-based company, will be building the farm on U.S. 150 near New Goshen.
Just last month, the Vigo County Council preliminarily approved a 10-year tax abatement for the solar farm. On Tuesday, the council held a public hearing on the issue before taking a final vote. Companies often seek a tax abatement from local entities and it reduces the amount of property taxes a company pays during the set time. Those entities look at a variety of ways that the company contributes to the local economy.
In the case of the new solar farm, it will employ only one person, who will work the grounds and maintain any and all activities. Attorney Mary Soliday represents the company, and said after feedback from the may meeting, they'll reduce their request to be a five year abatement. Soliday said the company feels the solar farm could attract other renewable projects to the county in the future. Well, the council voted to not allow a tax abatement at all. Councilman Bill Thomas feels this particular model does not support what an abatement is about.
"When you build a factory, we give you a 10-year abatement for example. You bring jobs, you bring, those people have to live somewhere. They're going to build houses. That expands our property tax base. They're spending money in our stores," Thomas explained. "That's just not the case in this instance."
Cypress Creek Renewables has already entered into a 20-year purchase agreement with Duke Energy. Construction will last around four months and should provide 60 to 80 jobs.