400 MW Solar Project Agreement Set To Catapult Texas Solar Energy Market


CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power have signed a deal that they say will result in the construction of 400 MW of solar energy capacity, as well as bring several solar manufacturing facilities and jobs to San Antonio.

The signing of the 25-year power purchase and economic development agreement follows several months of talks between negotiation teams with the utility and its partners. According to the companies, the 400 MW San Antonio project is the largest in the nation among municipal utilities, and will catapult Texas into the top five U.S. solar-producing states.

The project is expected to produce enough electricity to power nearly 70,000 local households, or about 10% of San Antonio's customers. In addition, CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power say the agreement will result in the following:

  • a new corporate headquarters in San Antonio;
  • an estimated $100 million high-tech U.S. manufacturing operation in south San Antonio;
  • 800-plus professional and technical jobs with an annual payroll of nearly $40 million (75% of those jobs will be in the renewable energy sector);
  • $700 million in annual economic impact; and
  • $1 billion in construction investment.

This solar agreement represents OCI Solar Power's first project in Texas. The company's recently appointed president, Tony Dorazio, will lead OCI Solar Power from its San Antonio headquarters. The first 50 MW of the project is expected to enter operation by mid-2013.

In addition, under the terms of the contract, members of the OCI Solar Power consortium will build facilities in San Antonio to produce components for solar power generation, such as modules, trackers and inverters used to supply the North American market. The consortium's efforts on this project are expected to result in more than 800 long-term jobs, in addition to the jobs that will be necessary to construct the manufacturing facilities and the solar energy plants.

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