The Aktina project is a 500MW photovoltaic (PV) solar power facility under construction in Wharton County, Texas, US.

The project is being developed by Tokyo Gas America (TGA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo Gas Company.

Tokyo Gas America (TGA) acquired the project from US-based independent solar power developer Hecate Energy in August 2020.

The construction works on the project were started in 2020 with the start of power generation expected in the second half of 2021. The solar farm is expected to achieve full capacity in the first half of 2022.

The 500MW PV power plant, once fully operational, is expected to supply enough green electricity to power approximately 100,000 US homes annually.

Location and site details

The Aktina solar power project is located in El Campo, Wharton County, Texas, US, approximately 87miles southwest of Houston.

Spread over approximately 4000 acres, the project site is surrounded by farmland and is located outside the Houston Metro area, which is a high-demand load centre.

Aktina solar power plant make-up

The Aktina solar farm will be installed with approximately 1.4 million solar modules for a total power output of 500MWac/ 631MWdc.

The bifacial solar panels will be mounted over Genius TrackerTM single-axis solar tracker systems from GameChange Solar for boosting power production. The project will also utilise the preassembled GameChange Solar SpeedClampsTM technology for faster installation of the photovoltaic panels.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the Aktina solar power plant will be evacuated into the grid through a 345kV high-voltage power transmission line.

The power evacuation line will be connected to the 345kV Hillje Substation, which is owned by CentrePoint Energy.

The solar farm’s output will be sold to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) wholesale market.

Contractors involved

Rosendin Renewable Energy Group (REG), a division of Rosendin, has been engaged as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor of the Aktina solar power project. Rosendin has engaged union contractors with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) for the supply of manpower.

GameChange Solar was selected for the supply of the solar module racking systems for the project in May 2021.

Jinko Solar, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer, is responsible for the manufacturing and supply of the photovoltaic modules for the plant, while Sungrow received an order to supply 3,600 inverters for the project.

Sukut Construction has been subcontracted by Rosendin Electric Group for the installation of mechanical equipment. The scope includes the installation of 300,000 piles and the erection of approximately 17,000 rows for the solar racking system.

Origis Services was contracted by Tokyo Gas America to provide operation and maintenance services for the solar plant in April 2021.

Global law firm K and L Gates advised Tokyo Gas America for the acquisition of the Aktina solar power project in August 2020.

Marathon Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the transaction, while CohnReznick Capital also advised Tokyo Gas in relation to the tax equity for the project in December 2020.

BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley Renewables secured the financing structure of the solar power project.