November 15, 2021 Read More →

California firm plans massive $1 billion solar-plus-storage facility in central Texas

Austin Business Journal:

Chem-Energy Corp., a California-based petroleum trading firm and energy company, plans to invest $1 billion in a pair of solar power and battery facilities near the suburb of Kyle. Officials call it the largest-ever economic development project, in terms of capital expenditure, for the region south of Austin.

Construction on the solar complex is expected to begin on the first site near the small town of Uhland in spring 2022, with the facility scheduled to open in 2023. That will be followed by construction on the second site in nearby Martindale. The facilities are expected to create 400 full-time jobs in the first year, according to a Nov. 10 announcement from the Greater San Marcos Partnership.

Chem-Energy on Nov. 5 received approval for a performance-based Chapter 381 incentives agreement with Caldwell County, with projected $22.4 million in added total net tax revenue over a 10-year period. Details of the agreement were not immediately available, but Caldwell County commissioners unanimously approved one deal — codenamed Project Exodus — during the Nov. 5 special meeting.

Square footage for the two facilities from Chem-Energy was not disclosed. The first will be constructed on 3,518 acres in Caldwell Valley Ranch in the vicinity of Uhland, a city of 1,588 people, which is east of Kyle and about 33 miles south of Austin, in both Hays and Caldwell Counties. The second facility will be located near Martindale, a city of 1,253 people about 12 miles south of Uhland. The acreage was not disclosed.

Partners in the project include Mortenson Construction as engineer and builder of the solar facilities, KORE Power as the provider of the high-energy-density NMC batteries for power storage, Invenergy Services as the provider of back office administrative, energy asset/management and operations and maintenance support and Soundgrid Partners as the provider of project management, technical advice and support, according to the announcement.

The Caldwell Valley Ranch solar power and battery pack facilities will feature a combined total of 600 megawatt/1,200 megawatt-hours in battery storage and 1 gigawatt of solar power generation over a decade, according to the announcement. One megawatt of electricity is able to power roughly 190 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

[Justin Sayers]

More: $1B renewable energy project expected to create 400 jobs in Caldwell, Hays counties

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