LendLease ups renewables game with 200MW solar project in Texas

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Lendlease subsidiary to build $170m, 200MW solar farm in Fort Bend County Texas, to supply PV generation to Houston utility CentrePoint Energy.

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ASX-listed infrastructure and property giant Lendlease is building a 200MW solar farm in the US state of Texas, marking the company’s biggest foray yet, by some measure, into renewable energy development.

The $170 million Fort Bend Solar project will be built in the Texas county of the same name, by a fully owned Lendlease subsidiary also of the same name (Fort Bend Solar LLC), on 1,800 acres of leased farmland just south of Houston.

Lendlease has not made any official statements about the project, but it is a big deal for the company, which in Australia is co-developing (with Carnegie Clean Energy) an $8 million, 5MW solar farm in Newcastle, NSW, and the 10MW Northam Solar Farm in WA’s wheatbelt.

Lendlease and Carnegie are also most of the way through a three-year partnership deal to identify, pursue, bid for, secure and deliver EPC contracts for solar and/or battery energy storage systems (BESS) around Australia.

According to a press release and other documents from Fort Bend County, construction on the 700,000 panel project is slated to begin early next year and the solar power station operational by March 1, 2020.

The project will also receive tax abatements for a period of 10 years, the County said.

Artist’s rendering of Fort Bend Solar. Source: Fort Bend County

The farm’s PV panels will be mounted on a single-axis tracker system, and the energy generated – enough to power around 40,000 homes – will be delivered to Houston-based CenterPoint Energy, via a purpose-built new sub-station.

“While economic development has always relied on good roads and good bridges, it also relies significantly on power — which is largely invisible to the masses,” County Commissioner Vincent Morales Jr. said in a statement.

“We need power now more than ever, especially when considering population projections for the county, and the state of Texas.

“I am so pleased and delighted that Fort Bend Solar will be here, contributing to the economy and also putting more power into the grid.”

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