CPS Energy will soon announce OCI Solar Power as the developer selected for a massive 400 megawatt photovoltaic project in San Antonio, Texas -- according to reports in The San Antonio Express. OCI just announced the news on its website.
OCI Solar, a developer and subsidiary of giant Korean chemical company, OCI, acquired CornerStone Power last year. CornerStone had a number of projects on the East Coast, but no PPAs. The firm lists about 150 megawatts of solar projects in the 3 megawatt to 20 megawatt range in various stages of development.
The agreement and vendor selection came after a lengthy and interrupted competition that fielded 19 proposals. The all-in price included the avoided costs of EPA regulations for coal plants.
A 400-megawatt plant would be one of the largest photovoltaic developments on earth.
The project comes with a deal that includes a locally situated module assembly fab (like the iffy 49 megawatt Turning Point project from Agile Energy). The factory could break ground in 2012 according to mySanAntonio. The bid was also to include an educational piece as well as the local manufacturing and job creation. Numbers being tossed around include $100 million in new manufacturing facilties and more than 800 jobs.
Which begs the question --- does it make sense to require a local manufacturing presence as part of the Power Purchase Agreement bidding process?
San Antonio is also the home of the 16.5 megawatt Blue Wing project. That project is owned by Duke Energy and the power is purchased by CPS Energy under a 30-year power purchase agreement.
CPS is "likely paying between 15 and 16 cents per kilowatt hour for its current solar power" and "this deal could be as much as 30 percent less," according to the San Antonio paper.