Area solar industry nearing 600 jobs created mark
Published 12:00 am, Tuesday, June 16, 2015
San Antonio’s flourishing solar economy has created nearly 600 area jobs since 2012, according to a CPS Energy news release.
After the utility announced a partnership with OCI Solar Power three years ago, an entire supply chain of solar goods — from production to consumption — has sprung up in the area. This effort, which CPS also claims has generated $134 in capital expenditures so far, currently provides San Antonio and Bexar County with more than 120 megawatts of power through four active solar farms, with three more farms under construction.
The numbers, according to the release, actually exceed milestone agreements set by CPS and OCI, which have set end goals of 800 jobs, $700 million of economic impact and 400 megawatts of power.
“When we started this initiative, we knew the potential of its economic boost for our community and today we’re extremely satisfied with the results,” Cris Eugster, CPS Energy vice president, said in a news release. “(OCI’s) use of innovation and technology has had a tremendous impact on our local economy and our continued development of renewable energy in San Antonio.”
Mission Solar representative Laura Waldrum said the company’s main manufacturing plant, located at Brooks City Base on the South Side, is behind about half of the total solar jobs in San Antonio. The plant has grown from about 200 jobs in summer 2014 to more than 300 as of early June.
“Most of these jobs are in manufacturing, with some office staff as well,” Waldrum explained. “The vast majority of our employees come from the San Antonio area, too.”
According to Waldrum, 93 percent of the staff members hired at Mission Solar are from San Antonio.
“We’re proud to be on the South Side, contributing to the local economy here,” she added.