San Antonio solar company buys West Texas project

By Rye Druzin | March 12, 2018

Photo: William Luther /San Antonio Express-News


Solar panels line a maintenance road at OCI Solar Power’s Alamo 1 solar plant on San Antonio’s south side. The company recently announced that it has purchased a 50 megawatt solar farm under development in … more

San Antonio-based OCI Solar Power has purchased a solar project in West Texas that has been in development for years.

Project Ivory will be a 50 megawatt solar farm when completed and was purchased from Colorado-based Renewable Energy Systems for an undisclosed amount. OCI said it has a 25-year power purchase agreement with city-owned utility CPS Energy, according to a news release.

Renewable Energy Systems will remain as the designer and contractor for the project.

During construction, which is expected to start this month, as many as 150 workers are expected to be hired. The project is expected to go online in November and have up to three full-time staff.

The project originated in 2013 with BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, a renewable development company that has focused much of its efforts on West Texas projects. BNB Renewable Energy Holdings partnered with Renewable Energy Systems in mid-2015 on what was then known as the Lamesa II project.

The new solar plant will use nearly 200,000 photovoltaic panels. It’s unclear where the panels will be sourced from, but OCI Solar Power is the parent company of San Antonio-based solar module maker Mission Solar Energy.

OCI Solar Power has developed eight solar power plants for CPS totaling 450 megawatts and used Mission Solar Energy as the solar panel supplier.

One megawatt can power between 200 and 300 homes in the winter, and 200 homes on a hot summer day.

CPS’ President and CEO Paula Gold-Williams announced on March 6 that the utility plans to add 4,100 megawatts of renewables to its generation mix, nearly quadrupling the amount of renewables it currently has. The utility has not outlined the time span or cost of adding those resources. The utility plans to generate about half of its power from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind by 2040.

Rye Druzin is a San Antonio Express-News energy reporter. Read more of his stories here. | | @druz_journo