A massive solar farm is in the works for the sunny region south of Lubbock, Texas. OCI Solar Power is proposing a nearly 900-acre solar farm near the town of LaMesa in Dawson County.
Phase two was unveiled this week. The $85 million Project Ivory Solar project will include 197,000 photovoltaic panels spread across 360 acres. It’s expected to generate 50 megawatts and should power about 35,000 homes, though not in the Lamesa area, according to OCI officials.
Charles Kim, CEO and President of OCI Solar Power said construction will begin later this month or in April according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
“Well, it’s been a windfall, to say the least, for everyone involved,” said Lamesa Mayor Josh Stevens.
The project will generate about 100 short-term jobs throughout construction, a handful of permanent positions, and land lease contracts for many land owners through at least the next 25 years, he said.
According to a fact sheet on the Southern Power website, the first phase of the Lamesa Solar Facility includes 410,000 solar panels spread across 887 acres and provides 102 megawatts of power.
Bart Geleynse, director of construction business development, and Timothy Heinle, vice president of business development, said the solar facility works by drawing renewable solar energy and passing it on to a grid where different companies that buy into it can tap in.
Kim and Sabah Mahmood, EPC manager for OCI, said Lamesa is part of a hot spot for solar radiation that runs down half of the Texas Panhandle from the Oklahoma border to the Mexico border.
This will be the ninth large-scale solar project for OCI in Texas, according to Kim.