(August 14, 2020)
Construction has officially begun on a solar portfolio of seven distribution-connected ground-mount solar projects. This 7.5 MW portfolio will service five electric cooperative territories in central and west Texas. The solar projects will vary in size from 500 kW to 1.4 MW.
Developers Saturn Power and UPower Energy are focused on renewable energy and developed this portfolio in order to provide clean, affordable, and locally sourced energy to Texas communities. The electricity generated by these solar projects will be emission-free and may offer cost savings to energy consumers.
The energy will be sold through individual 20-year power purchase agreements with the five electric cooperatives, which include PenTex Energy, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, Comanche County Electric Cooperative, Bartlett Electric Cooperative, and South Plains Electric Cooperative.
Saturn Power was allowed to develop this solar portfolio as a result of a competitive RFP process run by the Rocky Mountain Institute on behalf of several Texas Electric Cooperatives. Saturn Power engaged local Texas developer UPower to manage the solar portfolio through financing, construction, and long-term ownership and operation.
“Saturn Power is thrilled to be working with UPower in order to bring this exciting portfolio to fruition,” said Doug Wagner, CEO for Saturn Power. “When looking for a local partner to take ownership of the projects, Saturn sought out a company who shared our values and vision, with UPower being an evident match from the beginning.”
“This partnership amongst developers and cooperatives is a testament to the value of the cooperative business model,” said Brandon Young, general manager at Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative. “As individual cooperatives, we understood our member’s desire for renewable energy, and by working cooperatively, we were able to leverage our purchasing power to bring this project to fruition.”
Caitlin Ritchie is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.