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Construction begins on large solar power project in San Antonio


From the March 7, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 7, 2013

The public power community of San Antonio will soon be home to what the city believes will be the largest U.S. municipal solar power project. The 400-megawatt project is being developed through a public-private partnership between the municipal electric utility in San Antonio — CPS Energy — and OCI Solar Power.

San Antonio-based OCI Solar Power broke ground March 5 on the 41-MW Alamo I, the first phase of a 25-year power purchase agreement designed to bring renewable energy to CPS Energy.

"This project signals San Antonio's continued emergence as a leader in the new energy economy," said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. "This phase is only the first of many milestones to come bringing good-paying jobs and fostering economic development and sustainable energy for our community and state."

Alamo I will be completed by year-end and will provide power to nearly 7,000 San Antonio households, the city said. Upon completion in late 2016, the 400-MW project will power 70,000 local households, or 10.percent of San Antonio's customers.

Several local San Antonio renewable energy-focused manufacturing companies will provide major components required to build the project. Nexolon America LLC will manufacture the high-efficiency solar panels; ERCAM Trackers will produce the patented, two-axis photovoltaic (PV) solar trackers as well as single- and fixed-axis trackers; and KACO new energy will supply the photovoltaic inverter and power electronics.

"The Alamo project provides a blueprint for a public-private partnership model that can stimulate renewable energy development around the country," said OCI Solar Power President Tony Dorazio. "Through its commitment to the environment and the economy, CPS Energy is powering its customers with clean renewable energy, while attracting renewable energy-related companies and manufacturing that promote economic development and good jobs."


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