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Latest solar farm uses locally-made products to produce clean energy
By Scott Wudel on February 20, 2015
Solar panels produced here in San Antonio are now bringing renewable power to local homes and businesses.
More than 21,400 solar panels, manufactured at the recently opened Mission Solar Energy facility, fill the new Alamo 3 solar farm, located on 70 acres off Loop 1604 near IH-10 East. The 5.5-megawatt facility will generate power for more than 1,300 homes.
The farm also uses new, dual-axis tracker technology from Sun Action Trackers, and inverters built locally by KACO new energy. Both are New Energy Economy partners, which to date have brought 500 good paying, permanent jobs and more than $800 million in economic impact to our community.
Dual-axis trackers use sensors to help panels follow the sun’s arc both up and down and side to side, allowing them to generate more energy than fixed panels, or those that just only move in one direction.
“The launch of Alamo 3 represents another milestone in renewable energy development for our customers,” said Cris Eugster, CPS Energy Executive Vice President and Chief Generation and Strategy Officer. “This farm combines the innovations of not one, but three of our New Energy Economy partners to create a valuable, clean energy, generation tool for our community,”
Mission Solar Energy, which built the panels, is located at Brooks City-Base. It began production last September and is the only facility in Texas to manufacture solar cells and modules. It also is the only commercial manufacturer of N-type solar panels in the United States. This advanced technology produces electricity more efficiently than traditional P-type modules used in other solar projects.
Alamo 3 is one of seven farms being developed by OCI Solar Power to bring 400 MW of solar power to CPS Energy. Three other farms, the 41-MW Alamo 1, the 4.4-MW Alamo 2, and the 39-MW Alamo 4, are already in commercial operation. Alamo 5, a 100-MW project, is currently being built in Uvalde. All 400 MW should be online by late 2016.
Alamo 3 and Alamo 4 were recently acquired by ConEdison Development, a national renewable energy developer, owner and operator. ConEdison Development news release
CPS Energy, through power purchase agreements with a number of solar farm operators, has 134 MW of solar power in commercial operation – the most in Texas.