Construction has begun on a portfolio of seven distribution-connected ground mount solar projects that will service the territories of five electric cooperatives in central and west Texas.
Renewable energy developers Saturn Power Inc., headquartered in Ontario, Canada, and UPower Energy, based in Austin, Texas, have worked collaboratively to develop this 7.5 MW solar portfolio which will bring renewable energy to these communities.
The generated electricity will be sold via individual 20-year power purchase agreements with the cooperatives including PenTex Energy, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, Comanche County Electric Cooperative, Bartlett Electric Cooperative and South Plains Electric Cooperative.
The projects range in size from 500 KW to 1.4 MW.
“This partnership amongst developers and cooperatives is a testament to the value of the cooperative business model,” says Brandon Young, general manager at Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative.
“As individual cooperatives, we understood our member’s desire for renewable energy, and by working cooperatively, we were able to leverage our purchasing power to bring this project to fruition,” he adds.
The opportunity to develop this solar portfolio was awarded to Saturn Power through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process run by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) on behalf of multiple Texas electric cooperatives. The Saturn team designed, developed and permitted the projects to notice to proceed (NTP) stage and then engaged UPower to take over the portfolio through financing, construction and long-term ownership and operation.
Photo: UPower Energy’s landing page