What is believed to be the largest solar farm in Texas has gone online in San Antonio. The 41MW Alamo I solar farm, comprised of more than 167,000 solar panels expanding 450 acres, is the first phase of the 400MW development. When completed, the state is expected to be one of the top solar producing states in the U.S. Alamo I will generate energy for 6,600 homes powered by CPS Energy.
“By 2020, 65 percent of our community’s electricity will come from resources that are low- or no-carbon emitting — reducing emissions in an amount that’s equal to removing more than a million cars from local roads,” said CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby. “Reducing pollutants in the air we breathe is a no-brainer, and we’ve been pleased to partner with OCI Solar Power in our efforts to make that happen.”
The project partners say the project resulted in the largest economic development agreement between a municipal utility and private company. The partnership will bring manufacturing, 800 permanent jobs and an annual economic impact of $700 million to Texas. To date, the partnership is responsible for creating more than 150 permanent jobs and 600 temporary construction jobs in the area and the project has had the opportunity to hire several veterans.
“Alamo I is an interesting milestone because it’s now the largest solar farm in Texas, but it’s still a small part of what is to come,” said OCI Solar Power President and CEO Tony Dorazio. “Alamo I is only step one to Texas’ rise as a big player in solar.”
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro added, “San Antonio is fast becoming a leader in the New Energy Economy by combining economic development with environmentally sound practices. This solar farm expands our clean energy portfolio while adding hundreds of 21st century manufacturing jobs to the local economy.”
Another solar project, Alamo II, will bring an additional 4.4MW to San Antonio upon completion in early 2014.