200MW solar facility brings significant benefits to Frio County and provides emission-free energy to Verizon
Leeward Renewable Energy (“LRE” or “Company”) today announced the beginning of construction of the 200-megawatt (MW) Horizon Solar project near the city of Pearsall in Frio County, Texas. A groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier today.
The project will create approximately 400 construction jobs, and the Company is committed to hiring local qualified workers. In addition to job creation, Horizon Solar will provide numerous benefits to the local community, including significant economic investment, approximately $30 million in tax payments for the County and schools, and 500,000 MWh annually of emission-free renewable energy. The project is expected to reach commercial operation by the fourth quarter of 2023.
“We are pleased to begin construction at our Horizon Solar project,” said Omar Aboudaher, LRE’s vice president, development. “Today marks another important milestone in the development of the 200-MW Texas solar facility, bringing LRE one step closer to providing clean, renewable energy. We thank the community and officials of Frio County for their support and look forward to a long-term partnership.”
“The Horizon Solar project represents meaningful progress for Frio County,” said Hon. Arnulfo C. Luna, Frio County Judge. “The economic impact to our County and schools will make a real difference to our community. We’re proud and excited to welcome Horizon Solar to our community.”
LRE previously announced four 15-year Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements with Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”), through which Verizon will purchase the energy generated at Horizon Solar, in addition to energy generated by three other LRE projects. Horizon Solar will also provide reliable, renewable energy, and offset the equivalent emissions of more than 40,000 average Texas households. The project will include solar components from leading American-based companies, including solar modules from First Solar and smart solar tracker solutions from NexTracker.
“At Verizon, we are committed to reducing our impact on the planet through proven sustainable and socially responsible strategies and programs,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president, global supply chain. “The latest development in our work with LRE helps build a greener U.S. energy grid, and the Horizon Solar project facility is another key component on our way to achieving net zero emissions in our direct operations by 2035.”
Once completed later next year, Horizon Solar will be LRE’s second operational solar project in Texas where the company is currently operating the 30-MW Barilla Solar project. In total, LRE will have over 1,200 MW of contracted solar projects in operation by end of 2023 and has approximately 16 gigawatts of solar projects in development and construction. The company is well-positioned to grow its renewable energy platform at an accelerating pace, prioritizing safety and responsible development.
Source: Company Press Release