OCI steams ahead with Texas PV

OCI Solar Power is adding 145MW (ac) of capacity in Texas this year comprising three projects that will provide electricity for San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy.

The newly operational 39.6MW Alamo 4 project is in Brackettville in southwestern Texas. Construction is underway for the 5.5MW Alamo 3 project in northeast San Antonio and the 100MW Alamo 5 facility located about 110km west of the city in Uvalde.

Alamo 3 will be the first Alamo project to feature locally made solar panels from manufacturing partner Mission Solar Energy and a new dual axis tracker technology from Sun Action Trackers.

The projects are part of OCI’s earlier announced 400MW solar energy supply deal with CPS Energy. OCI claims it the largest economic development agreement between a US municipal utility and private company.

The deal is designed to encourage clean energy manufacturing, create 800 permanent jobs and result in an annual economic impact of $700m to Greater San Antonio. To date, the partners have created more than 380 solar jobs in Texas.

Once complete in 2016, the 400 MW project will power 10 percent of San Antonio's homes.

Project consortium partners include Mission Solar Energy, which is supplying panels, inverter provider KACO New Energy and ERCAM, a unit of Spain’s Energia ERCAM, which will furnish solar trackers.

OCI has contracted with Mortenson Construction to build the projects.

"The progress we're making with the opening and construction of new projects means more than half of our Texas projects are now complete or underway," says OCI Solar Power chief executive Tony Dorazio. "This also means the number of solar jobs in the state is increasing."