Bethpage Studio seeks IDA tax assistance for a $6 million solar panel project News Day

2021-11-26 06:55:04 By : Mr. Sunny Sun

The entrance of Grumman Studios was filmed at Bethpage on Wednesday. Image Credit: Barry Sloan

The company that transformed the Bethpage aircraft manufacturing plant into a film and television production stage asked Nassau County to provide a tax deduction of $124,800 to install a large number of solar panels.

Grumman Studio will spend US$6.2 million to purchase solar panels and battery storage systems to generate electricity by next year. Officials said the project will generate 3 megawatts of electricity for use by businesses and households across Long Island.

Grumman Studios has applied to the county's Industrial Development Bureau to exempt the local sales tax on the purchase of solar panels, batteries and other equipment. They do not need to pay state sales tax.

IDA's board of directors voted unanimously last week to start negotiations with the company.

Parviz Farahzad, owner of Grumman Studios, said this week that “the electricity we produce will go into [the grid]” for use by companies and homeowners. "Revenue will offset our annual electricity bill of 300,000 to 500,000 US dollars."

The sales tax exemption is part of IDA's new policy, which encourages companies to adopt alternative energy systems and reduce pollution. Since the policy was passed in July, Grumman Studio has taken the lead in seeking tax relief.

"Filmmaking is a very clean industry...We don't produce any smoke," Farazzad told News Daily. "This will make us more environmentally friendly."

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Grumman Studios and a sister studio in Port Washington had previously received IDA tax relief. Farahzad said that he learned about the agency's environmental protection policy from EmPower Solar, which is installing solar panels and battery storage devices at the Grumman studio and will oversee its operations.

David G. Schieren, CEO and co-founder of Island Park-based EmPower, said that Grumman Studio will save about 10% on electricity bills. The company is also eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for solar panels and a state tax rebate for batteries.

Schieren stated that 40% of the electricity generated by the Grumman Community Solar Project will be used for businesses and 60% will be used for households.

When talking about IDA’s environmental protection policy, he said: “This provides a level playing field for Nassau County. It is at a disadvantage in competition with Suffolk County, which does not impose a sales tax on solar [building projects].

IDA Chairman Richard Kessel praised Legis. Siela A. Bynoe (D-Westbury) introduced this policy more than a year ago.

"We hope to encourage the county to install more solar energy installations... [Project] The more environmentally friendly the better," he said.

James T. Madore writes articles on Long Island Business News, including economics, development, and the relationship between government and business. He served as the chief of the Albany bureau.

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