Texas petroleum producer commissions 600-MW solar + storage project
Chem-Energy invests more than $1 billion in the development of two solar and storage plants in Caldwell County, Texas.
“Caldwell County is the perfect strategic choice for our flagship business in Texas,” said Robert Hayward, COO of Chem-Energy Corporation. “With available land in a growing region, proximity to Texas State University, and a robust workforce pipeline, the Texas Innovation Corridor provides an ideal environment for our organization to grow.”
The first facility will be built on 3,511 acres at Caldwell Valley Ranch near Uhland. Construction will start in the spring of 2022 and is expected to be operational next year. The second facility will be located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Martindale.
The Caldwell Valley Ranch solar and storage facilities will contain a combined total of 400 MW/800 MWh of battery storage and 600 MW of solar power generation. The facilities will primarily serve ERCOT and the Texas power grid, as well as the local community, and provide clean energy to regional energy providers such as Bluebonnet Electric and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).
Mortenson Construction will handle the engineering, procurement and construction services for the solar installations; KORE Power supplies NMC batteries for energy storage; Invenergy Services will provide support in the areas of office administration, energy asset/management and operational and maintenance support; and Soundgrid Partners is engaged in project management, technical advice and support.
“Chem-Energy’s innovative approach to solar energy will result in facility design unlike anything seen before in the industry,” said Brad Heitland, business development executive for Mortenson Construction. “Solar projects are usually larger and more complex than other energy generators. I firmly believe that we will set a new standard for energy production, both in the Texas Innovation Corridor and across the state.”
The facilities will create 400 full-time, permanent jobs in the first year, with average wages that will reach or exceed $53,200 per year, plus benefits. In partnership with Austin Community College – Hays Campus, the Martindale facility will also be home to a standardized solar PV and battery storage training facility that will provide certifications to Chem-Energy team members. The first hire is expected in January 2022 and the training facility is expected to open in late spring 2022.
“As a leader in the fast-growing energy storage market, KORE Power is excited to partner with Chem-Energy to provide Texas with long-term reliable energy sources that will power Texas Interconnection’s power grid system,” said Lindsay Gorrill, CEO of KORE Power. .
Interns can anticipate three months in a classroom, followed by an additional 30 days of lab and hands-on training. Economic development agency the Greater San Marcos Partership facilitated the collaboration between Chem-Energy and Austin Community College to create a training program at the ACC Hays Campus that will train the first class of 75 to 100 technicians. Chem-Energy will focus on recruiting locally for its positions, including targeting veterans and other disadvantaged groups.
“This is a prime example of how strategic partnerships are resulting in unprecedented economic development opportunities for the people of Hays and Caldwell Counties,” said Jason Giulietti, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership. “Between the high paying jobs, the inbound staff training facilities, and our region becoming a future resource for the statewide electrical grid, this will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for residents in the Texas Innovation Corridor.”
News item from Chem-Energy