Texas: New agreement will see 400 MW installed, solar manufacturing facilities built


The 25-year power purchase and economic development agreement has been agreed by the presidents of the two companies, who yesterday signed a contract after "several months" of negotiations.

The 400 MW of solar will be delivered from a consortium of partners, created by OCI Solar Power. The agreement will further see around US$100 million invested in manufacturing facilities in south San Antonio, for products including modules, trackers and inverters.

A spokesperson for CPS Energy tells pv magazine that the 400 MW will be installed across five stages over the next four years. While the first stage will comprise 50 MW worth of systems installed in the CPS Energy service area, the second phase will see 35 MW come online within a 120 mile perimeter of the San Antonio area. Following this, the third stage will see 105 MW installed, also within a 120 mile perimeter of the San Antonio area. Meanwhile, the fourth and fifth stages will each see 105 MW installed in west and north Texas, respectively.

While the construction details are still to be ironed out, the spokesperson says the project will most likely comprise ground-mounted crystalline silicon systems.

In terms of the first manufacturing facility, Nexolon America LLC has been identified as the anchor manufacturer. It is currently in discussions as to the location of its proposed module facility. The spokesperson could not disclose the intended manufacturing capacity, but did say the modules produced are likely to go towards the 400 MW project, and be sold in the Latin- and North American regions.

Regarding further facilities, OCI Solar Power is said to be in discussions with other manufacturers, which will produce such components as racking systems, trackers and inverters. No further details are available, however. The investment sum for the whole project was also not divulged.

"The anchor manufacturer in the consortium is Nexolon America LLC, a subsidiary of Nexolon … [which has] played a pivotal role in making the deal a success through its commitment to investing $100 million in building a high-tech manufacturing facility and locating its North American headquarters in San Antonio, in total creating over 400 jobs," explained utility company, CPS Energy in a statement released.

It added that of the over 800 jobs expected to be created, 75 percent will be in the renewable energy sector. Meanwhile, $1 billion in construction investment will reportedly be injected in the region, and $700 million generated for the Greater San Antonio economy.

Commenting, Mayor Julian Castro said, "CPS Energy’s pursuit of clean energy and energy efficiency has attracted seven clean technology companies and a commitment, thus far, of a million dollars to local education. Those are the kinds of partnerships we welcome as we focus on our city’s current and future needs."