Published Date Written by Barbara TetreaultLANCASTER – In a reversal of its earlier position, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group last Thursday paid Coos County the balance of its 2013 payment in lieu of taxes for its 99-megawatt wind park in the unincorporated places of Dixville and Millsfield.
In December, Brookfield paid the county $249,175 for the Granite Reliable Power wind park. Brookfield, which is the majority owner of the wind park, said the payment was based on the 45.835 megawatts of electricity it was permitted to produce. Brookfield said its production was often curtailed under the direction of ISO-New England, which manages the regional power grid.
But the county commissioners said the PILOT agreement with Granite Reliable Power clearly set a payment of $5,000 per megawatt of installed capacity. For the 99-megawatt wind park, the commission said that came to an annual payment of $495,000. The commissioners at their monthly meeting said the agreement had been checked by legal counsel and the state Department of Revenue Administration and promised to pursue take legal steps to ensure full payment.
At Monday's delegation meeting, County Administrator Jennifer Fish reported Brookfield last Thursday had wired $245,825 into the county's account. The payment was received one day before the Feb. 1 deadline.
"As a result, I am pleased to report that the PILOT payment for 2013 has been paid in full," Fish said.
Fish said the county commissioners were pleased with the news of the full payment.
"We continue to work closely with Brookfield Power on other issues, including the establishment of a decommissioning fund which will be needed if the wind park ever ceases operations," Fish said.
Brookfield officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The agreement, which took effect in 2012 when the park began commercial operation, is for ten years and can be extended for a second ten-year term. At the end of the first ten years, the agreement states the parties can further negotiate the amount of the PILOT.