Panasonic Co-Develops Nation’s Largest Solar Farm in Pflugerville
- Feb 22, 2012
By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor
Panasonic Corp., one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, recently agreed to co-develop the largest solar farm in the U.S. along with RRE Austin Solar. The developer has announced a planned ground-breaking for June 2012 and commercial operation slated for June 2013.
Last spring, RRE announced the intention of bringing a 100,000-square-foot, 50-megawatt plant to Pflugerville, according to the Community Impact Newspaper. In December 2011, the developer held an initial groundbreaking ceremony at the 600-acre site, located 15 miles east of Pflugerville at 17414 Manda Carlson Rd.
Two months later, upon the crucial deal with Panasonic, things are beginning to move forward for the project, which will use more than 400,000 solar panels to generate around 60 megawatts — enough electricity to power between 4,500 to 7,000 homes.
The Community Impact Newspaper notes that Panasonic’s involvement has reignited an initiative that is the backbone of Pflugerville’s green energy strategy. “We want to become the green center of central Texas and of Texas” said Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman, as quoted by the publication.
Pflugerville made a deal with RRE to not annex the land for 30 years, and in return, the eventual project will bear the city’s name. Additionally, the city will receive $750,000 worth of solar panels to place on buildings around town, as reported by Kens5.com.
The $200 million project is expected to create 350 construction jobs over the next three years. The solar farm itself will have only a handful of employees, but RRE intends to keep its headquarters in the Austin area as it develops other solar farms across the country, according to The Austin-American Statesman.
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Photo credits: Flickr user KUTAustin