ConEdison Development (CED), one of America’s largest owners and operators of renewable energy infrastructure projects, today dedicated Alamo 5, a 118-MW DC/95-MW AC, dual-axis solar installation in Uvalde and Knippa, Texas that will deliver clean energy to CPS Energy of San Antonio. CPS Energy is the country’s largest municipally-owned natural gas and electric company.
The 378,000-panel, 990-acre site – the largest operating dual-axis solar plant in North America – is capable of providing 95 MW (AC) of renewable power to CPS Energy. The capacity is enough to serve approximately 15,000 households annually. Alamo 5 is situated approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio.
“CPS Energy has emerged as a national pacesetter in the world of renewable energy, and our company is proud to play a strategic role in helping them fulfill their vision to Greater San Antonio,” said Mark Noyes, president and CEO of ConEdison Development. “CPS Energy also deserves praise for ensuring that their clean energy initiative yields major local and statewide economic development benefits for Texans.”
“We are the solar leader in Texas with 230 megawatts in the ground, and that will more than double to 500 megawatts by year’s end,” said Cris Eugster, CPS Energy’s executive vice president and chief generation and strategy officer. “The dedication of Alamo 5 represents a significant milestone in our commitment to generate at least 65 percent of our energy from low- or no-carbon resources by 2020.”
Because of its dual-axis trackers, Alamo 5 generates power with high efficiency. Such trackers allow for optimum solar energy output because of their ability to follow the sun both vertically and horizontally. The dual-axis trackers, which utilize a patented “solar-sensing” technology to capture maximum solar resource, were produced by Sun Action Trackers, a San Antonio-based manufacturer of solar tracking and racking systems.
The Uvalde installation is one of a total of five Alamo solar facilities presently serving CPS Energy. ConEdison Development – which now ranks as America’s sixth-largest owner of renewable power infrastructure assets – has played a development, ownership or operating role in three of the completed projects. San Antonio-based OCI Solar Power is the contracted developer of a total of 10 projects, delivering 450 MW overall to CPS Energy. All of the installations will be complete by the end of 2016.
Alamo 5 helps fulfill the commitments of CPS Energy’s ambitious New Energy Economy initiative. As of the start of this year, the initiative’s impact includes: the creation of more than 950 jobs, $57 million in payroll, and an annual economic benefit of $1.6 billion. The New Energy Economy maximizes the local economic development benefits generated by strategic investments in clean energy and innovative technologies like solar power, LED lighting, and smart grid infrastructure.
As an example of progress made under the initiative, the following San Antonio-based New Energy Economy partners manufactured some of the major components for Alamo 5:
Mission Solar Energy – the first and only U.S. manufacturer of N-type solar cells and modules – solar photovoltaic (PV) modules
Sun Action Trackers, dual-axis trackers
KACO new energy, inverters which transform direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). AC power is what CPS Energy is contracted to purchase from the installation.
OCI Solar Power is the parent company of Mission Solar Energy and Sun Action Trackers. All three companies along with KACO new energy opened facilities in San Antonio as a result of CPS Energy’s power purchase agreement with OCI Solar Power. A fourth New Energy Economy partner, Mortenson Construction, built the 990-acre solar farm.