New Solar Farm to Pump Much Needed Funds into Grape Creek ISD & Tom Green County Coffers


SAN ANGELO – Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday approved a set of agreements with Angelo Solar, LLC which will allow a new solar energy producing facility or solar farm to be built in western Tom Green County.  

Angelo Solar requested the agreement, a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), which allows the company to pay the County a set amount for a ten year period instead of paying property taxes.  According to testimony in court Tuesday, Angelo Solar will construct a solar farm worth $262,303,270 and then a battery storage facility worth $70,000,000 in the Grape Creek ISD in western Tom Green County.  

The agreement with the County provides a payment of $2.89 million over ten years for the solar farm and $1.14 million for the battery storage facility instead of Angelo Solar paying property taxes.  That works out to about 47% of the estimated property taxes the facility would have generated for the County over that same ten year period.  The benefit for the County is a payment of approximately $400,000 per year.  

Here's how the PILOT agreement works according to Allison, Bass & Magee, LLP, attorneys out of Austin: 

TaxAbatement expressly authorized by Chapter 312

  • A percentage of the actual appraised value as determined by Chief Appraiser.

  • Reduces the tax burden on the project for no more than ten years (two 5 year increments)

  • Annual appraisals determines the taxable value, then the abatement is applied to reduce the levy.

• P.I.L.O.T. - Payment in Lieu of Taxes

• The County grants 100% abatement, and in lieu of taxes, receives a negotiated amount.

• Typically the monetary equivalent of a standard abatement, but the revenue is not treated as tax revenue, but contractual revenue. As a consequence, the PILOT payment does not calculate in the formula to determine the effective tax rate/roll back rate.

This will be the third solar project in Tom Green County.  The first is the Rambler Solar Farm off of FM 2288 in western Tom Green County and the second is the solar facility under construction off of Ratiliff Rd. and U.S. 277 south.  

Testimony Tuesday morning indicated the Water Valley ISD currently receives revenue from the Rambler Solar Farm and the Wall ISD will receive revenue from the Ratilff Rd. Solar Farm.  

San Angelo Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Vice President Michael Looney told the Court that the project will take about 14 to 16 months to construct.  

The property subject to the abatement agreement is land included in the Angelo Solar 2022 Reinvestment Zone located in Pct. 3 and is owned by Queen Bees.  Queen Bees has a Post Office Box in Kingsland, TX listed in the Tax Appraisal District office.  

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So what happens after ten years ? Will the residents of Tom Green County see any relief on the electric bill?

So called green energy is not without cost to the environment.  Strip mining for minerals for batteries decimates the surrounding areas making the land toxic.  The efficiency of the solar panels rely on the weather.  Hail, dust, birds, clouds and who knows what else.  Wind generators are not much better.  Birds are killed. Generator blades are buried without much expectation of being absorbed back into the land.  All this is just a switch to another source of energy to make someone rich.  Coal, natural gas and oil are the most substantial sources of energy.  All it takes is the main stream media and newspapers to make the populace think it's all for the good.


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