The largest municipal solar power field in the US is to be built in San Antonio, Texas, the result of a contract between CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power, which will develop, own and operate the planned 400-MW solar PV facility.
In addition to producing clean, renewable electrical power at utility-scale, the landmark 400-MW muni solar PV facility is projected to create more than 800 long-term jobs and add an estimated $700 million to the economy per year. The company plans to develop “several solar facilities that will ultimately power more than 70,000 homes,” according to a news release.
Sustainable Development: Solar Powered Business-Community Partnerships
OCI Solar Power, the North American subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea’s Atlanta-based OCI Enterprises, intends to locate its headquarters in San Antonio, where it’s also planning to drive advances in its solar PV products and services by building an Engineering and Operations Center. “OCI Solar Power is breaking new ground for sustainable energy in the US,” OCI Solar Power’s newly appointed president Tony Dorazio stated.
“This project will not only serve as a public-private partnership model for communities around the country but also a blueprint for building a new energy development hub. As part of our commitment to this vision and to the San Antonio community, we will also drive investments in education, research and development and the new innovations necessary to sustainably impact the economy and landscape for years to come.”
OCI has put together a consortium of project development partners to carry the San Antonio project through to fruition. The project’s first phase calls for installation of 50 MW of solar PV capacity by mid-2013. The remaining 350 MW of capacity are to be installed in stages out through 2016.
“Today is an exciting day for OCI Solar Power as we expand our energy portfolio with CPS and San Antonio,” commented OCI Enterprises’ president and CEO Kirk Milling. “The consortium of global solar industry leaders we have assembled will change the way the U.S. is able to access the latest high-performance technologies and processes in solar energy today. We look forward to working with our partners to serve CPS Energy’s customers and the broader region.”
The contract with CPS in San Antonio is a significant step forward for OCI Solar Power, which says it’s “surging toward a new leadership position in the solar industry.” The company has more than 40 projects in development across the US and Canada ranging in size from 3 MW to CPS, San Antonio’s 400-MW project.
Also included among these are Dateland I and Dateland II, two 12-MW solar PV projects in the Yuma County, Arizona municipality of Meridian. On June 28, OCI announced it had signed an agreement to acquire land in Granby, Mass. to build a 3-MW solar power project that will provide clean, renewable electricity to the local community.
Completion of the solar PV project, construction of which is to begin in 2013, will contribute to meeting Massachusetts’ goal of installing 400 MW of solar power capacity by 2020, OCI Solar noted. Granby itself has pledged to reduce the city’s energy use by 20% over a five-year period.
Photo credit: My San Antonio