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Amended Road Use Agreement For Pine Forest Solar Projects, Incentives For Proposed Project On Nov. 22 Commissioners Court Agenda

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An amended road use agreement for Pine Forest Solar Projects and tax incentives for a proposed project are on the Nov. 22 Commissioners Court agenda, along with a truck purchase and an agreement for the county fire department.

During the 9 session, Hopkins County Commissioners Court is expected to consider approving the purchase of a 1-ton crew cab 4×4 truck for Precinct 3.

Four items on the agenda have to do with solar projects. The court first is expected to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed establishment of a reinvestment zone for BT Solerra Solar LLC. This is is a time where community members can directly ask questions and voice comments regarding the proposed solar project. Afterward, the court is expected to consider approving the proposed reinvestment zone for the proposed BT Solerra Solar LLC project as well as a Chapter 381 agreement granting tax incentives to BT Solerra. No additional details regarding the proposed BT Solerra Solar LLC project were made available over the weekend other than the agenda items.

Also on the court agenda Monday morning for consideration is an amended resolution approving the request of Pine Forest Solar I, LLC, and Pine Forest Hybrid I, LLC, allowing the solar projects to use certain county roads to access the property to solar projects are to be constructed on.

In August, the developers for the Pine Forest Solar I project were considering considering expanding operations to add batteries, which would increase the investment up to a total potential of $252 million, and asked Hopkins County Commissioners Court.

“With the winter storm, the market is now increasing interest in storage. So, now we’ve added in the late spring, early summer the idea of a storage, which is an additional $150 million to the project. The investment is just wanting to ask the community, that you guys have given us the rights to use the road to build the solar. They just wanted to put in documents that we also are allowed rights use to install the storage as well,”  Shannon McCall, President of Telios, the corporation overseeing the Pine Forest solar projects, told the Commissioners Court this summer.

Telios asked for use of specific county roads trucks would be using to haul in equipment for construction and later improvements as needed for the solar power and energy storage project and improvements. This would give “access to, egress from, encroachments into, crossing of, and possibly upgrades to County roads, County owned rights-of-way, and County-held right-of-way easements” for the project.

The court at that time agreed to allow the company and it’s designees to use Hopkins County Roads 2346, 2310, 2336, 2333, 3340, 3344, 3351, 3334 and 3342 during the planning and construction phases of its Solar Power and Energy Storage Project and Improvements until the projects and improvements are completely abandoned, to use the county roads to: “(a) access and egress to and from the Solar Power and Energy Storage Project, (b) encroachment of the Solar Power and Energy Storage Project and Improvements into the right-of-way of said County roads, and (c) for overhead and underground crossings of said County roads with the Solar Power and Energy Storage Project and Improvements and with transmission lines connecting the Solar Power and Energy Storage Project and Improvements to the electrical grid power system.”

The Commissioners Court over the past 2-3 years have approved tax incentives for at least six solar projects: Solemio in Arbala community, Pine Forest Solar I LLC, Hopkins Energy LLC in Dike, Bright Arrow Solar in northwestern Hopkins County, Pine Forest Hybrid I and Stampede Solar in Saltillo. The Dike and Arbala projects have drawn opposition, with community residents openly speaking against at public meetings against the projects.

Also on the agenda Monday is an agreement between TargetSolutions Learning, LLC, doing business as Vector Solutions, and Hopkins County Fire Department. Vector Solutions offer programming to deliver and track online training courses and compliance tasks with the public safety training management platform formerly known as TargetSolutions. This includes a mobile application for inspections of apparatus, equipment, inventory, and controlled substances; and helps agencies manage employee schedules, callbacks, overtime, time-off requests, and more. Vector Solutions serves law enforcement, fire departments, EMS agencies, professional security and local governments.

Hopkins County AgriLife Extension Agents also are scheduled to give an updated on recent and upcoming activities of their office.

The regular session is expected to take about 30 minutes, as a work session is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 22, 2021, in the third floor meeting room of Hopkins County Courthouse. That agenda includes discussions with the county fire marshal, sheriff and Civic Center manager to discuss operations, review revenue and expenditures, and any proposed improvements and repairs for their departments and facilities; discuss with the county’s environmental inspector any potential environmental concerns; and to hold a budget session.

hopkins co courthouse
Hopkins County Courthouse
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Author: Faith Huffman

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