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Solar PILOT Agreements


As a measure to promote the installation of clean energy sources, the New York State legislature adopted Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) §487 that exempts the value of a solar panel system from local property taxes ("eligible solar facilities"). Under the law, any increase in the property value attributable to the addition of the solar panel system is exempt from property tax. The law does allow any taxing jurisdiction (town, school, etc.) to “opt-out” of the tax exemption by adopting a local law or resolution, making the added value of a solar panel system fully taxable. Alternatively, a taxing jurisdiction that does not opt-out can require a solar developer to pay an annual fee or payment- in-lieu of taxes (PILOT) as a replacement for the taxes it would have otherwise collected. Erie County has not opted-out of RPTL §487. 

Adapted from the NYSERDA Solar Guidebook (May 2022).

Process and Contact Information

Developers intending to construct eligible solar facilities in Erie County must notify the Department of Environment and Planning (DEP) of their intent to do so by mail.

Hard copies must be mailed to:

  • Erie County Executive's Office

    95 Franklin Street, Sixteenth Floor

    Buffalo, NY 14202


  • Attn: Sarah Gatti

    Erie County Department and Environment and Planning

    95 Franklin Street, Tenth Floor

    Buffalo, NY 14202

Pursuant to RPTL §487(9)(a), DEP will notify the developer of the County's intent to require a PILOT agreement within sixty days of receiving the letter of intent. 


Contact Sarah Gatti at 


A field of solar panels