OCI Solar Power breaks ground on its third Texan PV plant


OCI Solar Power – a San Antonio-headquartered subsidiary of South Korea’s OCI Company Ltd. – has further extended its solar presence in the U.S. state of Texas with the announcement this week that it has broken ground on a 39 MW PV plant.

Alamo 4 will become OCI’s third solar farm in the state, and is to be located in the town of Brackettville, some 170 km west of the city of San Antonio. The plant is scheduled for completion for later this year, and will generated clean solar power for some 6,000 homes in the Greater San Antonio area. CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal utility, has agreed a PPA with the plant to sell the power to consumers.

"Alamo 4 is our first Texas project outside of the Greater San Antonio area," said Tony Dorazio, CEO and president of OCI Solar Power. "Our fast movement around the state is reflective of the renewable energy landscape in the U.S. It’s growing quickly."

The plant will possess 150,000 solar panels once completed, covering an area of 600 privately owned acres of land. The plant is being constructed by Mortenson Construction, a Minneapolis-based building contractor that has formed a consortium with OCI Solar Power to create a number of permanent jobs in the region, even setting up a permanent office in San Antonio in order to closer oversee this and future projects.

For CPS Energy, an ongoing partnership with OCI Solar Power is expected to bring 400 MW of solar power to the Texas state grid, generating $700 million for the local economy, and adding an estimated 800 permanent jobs in a state that has hitherto been dominated by oil money.

"Our partnership with OCE is reaping more economic and job benefits than we initially forecast," said CPS Energy’s executive vice president and chief generation and strategy officer, Cris Eugster. "That is a tremendous advantage for our customers and job seekers here and across the Lone Star State."

Alamo 1 – a 41 MW PV plant in San Antonio – was completed by OCI Solar Power last year. Alamo 2 is a smaller, 4.4 MW plant, construction of which also began next year. Once all are completed in 2016, OCI Solar Power will have delivered 400 MW of PV capacity to the region – enough clean energy to power 10% of San Antonio homes.