Commissioners grant tax abatement for solar plant

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The Pecos County Commissioners’ Court conducted a public hearing during their July 24 meeting to consider the tax abatement and reinvestment zone applications by SP-PecosBendSolar LLC.

Robert Reichenberger with Solar Prime, the company that owns SP-PecosBendSolar, led the presentation and was aided by Fort Stockton’s former EDC Director, Doug May.

Reichenberger stated that there were to be two projects in Pecos County, both being 180 megawatt (MW) projects. He said that they were requesting a tax abatement for the first project. Solar Prime anticipated that 180 MW would be worth approximately $225 million, according to Reichenberger.

According to the Pecos County Guidelines and Criteria for Tax Abatement, improvements eligible for abatement include renewable power facilities and fixtures, which the projects fall under. The Court would evaluate different factors for the request, including jobs, fiscal impact, and community impact in Pecos County. The Reinvestment Zone would encompass about 6,850 acres in Pecos County, with the taxing jurisdictions including Pecos County, Iraan-Sheffield ISD, Middle Pecos Water, Iraan Hospital District, and Midland College.

The construction would be set to begin in 2018 and end in 2019. Reichenberger stated that they would employ about 350 people, and that it would take a year and a half to construct. After it is built, it would take two employees to operate.

SP-PecosBendSolar LLC requested an 85 percent tax abatement for a total of ten years.

Following an hour-long discussion, the Court voted to approve the reinvestment zone and the tax abatement of 85 percent for the first five years and a lower percentage for the second five-year period to SP-PecosBendSolar LLC.

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