Chemicals company BASF has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EDF Renewables North America to acquire 55MWac/73MWdc of energy from a solar plant in Texas, US.
The Space City Solar project will be located in Wharton County, Texas, and will use bifacial solar PV modules. The Louise Independent School District, which is leasing land for the project’s development, could earn US$1.8 million in tax revenue in the project’s first year of operation if the district enacts a state-specific tax relief clause by the end of 2020. The project is also expected to create US$30 million in tax revenue for Wharton County entities.
EDF Renewables is set to break ground on the Space City Solar plant in next summer, and bring it online the following year. It will have a total capacity of 345MWac/455MWdc on completion.
Matt McCluskley, vice president of southern region development for EDF Renewables, said the deal will “provide an economic boost” to Wharton County while tapping into the rising demand for corporate solar power contracts.
Corporate renewables PPAs have continued to gather pace this year as the solar industry gradually moves away from a subsidy-based business model. Corporate renewable PPAs in Australia, for example, are set to reach record levels this year, according to Business Renewables Centre Australia. Research published by the group this month shows that governments and businesses have invested AUD$2.4 billion (US$1.78 billion) and bought more than 1GW of green energy in the country.
Texas is also becoming a US “leader in solar energy”, according to the Solar Industries Association, with more than 4GW of capacity to be installed over the next five years. Multinationals such as Nestle, Starbucks and McDonald’s have also signed PPA agreements to power their outlets and warehouses in Texas within the past year. EDF itself is currently developing and procuring PPAs for another solar farm in Texas after acquiring a pipeline of 20 projects across 13 states and the District of Columbia from developer Greenex in October.
McCluskey said the company’s new deal with BASF shows a “continued commitment to helping corporate customers meet their wholesale power supply needs and sustainability initiatives.”