ENGIE North America hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking with county officials and customers for the 225-MW Long Draw Solar Project on Nov. 6. ENGIE will serve four Texas municipalities — New Braunfels, Denton, Garland and Kerrville — and their electric utilities — via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project’s full capacity.
Slated to come online in the summer of 2020, the Long Draw Solar Project — the largest solar project to date in ENGIE’s solar portfolio — will be located in Borden County, Texas. The project will house more than 800,000 solar panels, employ some 150 people during peak construction and generate total estimated tax payments to Borden County and the Borden County Independent School District of more than $10 million over the life of project.
The PPA stemmed from an original request for solar energy proposals issued by New Braunfels Utilities (NBU), who in turn partnered with Denton Municipal Electric (DME), Garland Power & Light (GP&L) and Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) for the purchase of solar energy from ENGIE and Long Draw in order to diversify their power supplies and to keep retail electricity rates low.
Under the power purchase agreement, which has a term of 15 years, NBU has contracted for 100 megawatts of solar energy from the Long Draw project. Denton will purchase 75 MW of capacity, Garland will purchase 25 MW of capacity and Kerrville will purchase 25 MW of capacity.
“We’re so glad to join with leaders here in Borden County and with our customers to support them in creating new opportunities to diversify their renewable energy sources on a meaningful scale,” said Luis Felipe Birolini, head of solar development at ENGIE North America. “We look forward to completing the project in the summer of 2020, and to providing zero carbon, affordable energy for years to come.”
“New Braunfels Utilities is pleased to be a part of ENGIE’s Long Draw Solar Project, and today’s groundbreaking ceremony. Today culminates many months of hard work and dedication to further enable NBU to be good stewards of our environment — and to deliver affordable and reliable energy to our customers. This project is a great example of municipal entities working together for the best of their customers and embodies NBU’s mission in action, to provide innovative, essential services. We look forward to this project coming online next year,” said New Braunfels Utilities CEO Ian Taylor.
“Garland Power & Light looks forward to adding solar from the Long Draw Project to our power portfolio,” said GP&L general manager and CEO Jeff Janke. “This affordable resource will support GP&L’s competitive rate strategy.”
“KPUB is excited to see this project move forward, said Mike Wittler, general manager & CEO of Kerrville Public Utility Board. “It will help us ensure that our customers have competitive, stable rates for years to come.”
News item from ENGIE North America