A new wind farm is being proposed in Knox County. The project – Griffin Trail Wind, LLC – is seeking significant tax breaks in return for bringing its investment to the area. Griffin Trail Wind’s application for Benjamin ISD was posted in March, and it also applied for a limitation from Seymore ISD in May. Both applications were amended in June, and both are still up for consideration by the taxing entities listed below.
The Griffin Trail Wind project is being proposed by parent company Innergex Renewable Energy, Inc. This company is based out of Canada and has renewable energy plants based all around the world. Innergex currently operates the largest solar farm in Texas located in Winkler County, and two wind farms in Texas, one located across Mills and Comanche Counties, and one located in Clay County.
Given that wind and solar producers receive over $35/MWh and $230/MWh in federal subsidies, respectively, it is evident that this company is taking full advantage of our federal funds in furthering their foreign-based business.
It is not surprising that this company has made its way to Texas, given the significant tax incentives that many local governments provide to renewable energy producers, primarily through Chapters 312 and 313 of the tax code.
Here is an overview of what Innergex is seeking in Knox County:
- Knox County – considering a $6,629,208 annual tax break
- Benjamin ISD – considering reducing the taxable value of the project from $97,324,500 to $20,000,000 the first year
- Seymour ISD – considering reducing the taxable value of the project from $114,250,500 to $30,000,000 the first year
- Knox County Hospital District – considering a $3,575,058 annual tax incentive
These incentives are provided at the expense of local taxpayers in the area. Why should multimillion- or multibillion-dollar corporations be provided with tax breaks, especially since they are bringing little more than unreliable energy and higher electricity costs?
Also, Innergex applied for a waiver for the minimum job requirement, as the Griffin Trail Wind project will only bring three jobs to both Benjamin ISD and Seymour ISD areas each.
After the Texas grid struggled to keep up with the summer heat, Texas should end state and local renewable subsidies to ensure an affordable and reliable supply of energy.
See a full list of ongoing renewable energy projects here to see if YOUR county is being affected.