OCI Solar Power has begun operations of the first phase (41MW) of the 400MW Alamo solar project on Binz-Engelman Road in San Antonio, Texas.
The 450-acre Alamo I solar farm, featuring more than 167,000 solar panels, will generate enough electricity to meet annual energy requirements of around 6,600 homes powered by CPS Energy, and curb carbon dioxide emissions by 57,000t.
ERCAM Trackers has delivered more than 4,000 single and dual-axis trackers, while Renewable Energy Systems Americas was responsible for engineering, procurement and construction for the Alamo 1 project.
OCI Solar Power president and CEO Tony Dorazio said the first phase is an interesting milestone because it is now the largest solar farm in Texas and is only step one to Texas' rise as a big player in solar.
The project, which is claimed to be Texas' largest solar farm and the largest municipal utility solar project in the country, will create more than 800 long-term jobs and inject an estimated $700m annually in the local economy.
The project, which can generate enough electricity to power 10% of San Antonio homes, will sell its entire output to CPS Energy under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
OCI Solar Power and CPS Energy inked a deal in July 2012 to develop, own and operate the project, which is being built in seven phases throughout Texas.
The other six phases include 4.4MW Alamo 2, 5MW Alamo 3, 40MW Alamo 4 and Alamo 5, 6 and 7, which will each comprise at least 100MW capacity.
Alamo 2 is being built on land owned by the San Antonio River Authority and is set for completion in 2014; Alamo 4 will be built near Brackettville; location for Alamo 3 is yet to be determined; and Alamo 5, 6 and 7 will each be constructed at planned facilities in Texas.
Image: An aerial view of Alamo 1 solar farm located south of Loop 410 in San Antonio. Photo: courtesy of OCI Solar Power.