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Shrewsburysolarworkshop

Nearly 300 public and private sector attendees participated in three workshops last week to learn about valuation of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects for the purpose of taxation or for negotiating a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement.

Sponsored jointly by DOR’s Division of Local Services and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the workshops drew local assessors as well as a smattering of individuals who work in the development of PV projects.

The nearly four-hour workshops, led by George E. Sansoucy, P.E., and Glenn Walker, were held in Boston and Worcester on Feb. 26 and in Springfield on Feb. 27. Sansoucy’s engineering and appraisal firm specializes in the valuation and financial feasibility of special purpose properties and consults on regulatory matters.

The workshops were organized by the DLS Bureau of Local Assessment and were funded with a grant from DOER.

Massachusetts has seen an explosion in PV development driven largely by government regulations requiring utilities in states that have adopted solar carve-outs to supply a portion of their electricity from solar systems.

Sansoucy frankly admitted that these 21st Century means of electrical generation have outstripped the 20th Century law used to value conventional sources of power generation, and noted there are currently nine bills filed in the state legislature that deal with the valuation of PV projects.

The workshop materials presented were in draft, and are now open for comment from those who attended. DLS will publish a final copy of Sansoucy’s presentation on its website after comments are received and incorporated. Media coverage of the event can be found here.

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