July 24, 2012 / 1:26 PM / 6 years ago

San Antonio to buy power from 400 MW Texas solar plants

July 24 (Reuters) - San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy agreed to buy 400 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power from OCI Solar Power in a 25-year deal that will create more than 800 long-term jobs for the Texas economy.

OCI, a unit of South Korean chemical company OCI Co Ltd , put together a consortium of solar power manufacturers that together will spend about $1 billion to build the solar projects and needed manufacturing facilities, CPS spokeswoman Lisa Lewis told Reuters on Tuesday.

OCI and partners will construct the solar projects over the next four years, with the first 50 MW to be built in the San Antonio area by the middle of 2013.

Other solar plants will go up within 120-mile (193-kilometer) radius of San Antonio, and in West and North Texas, Lewis said.

Once complete, the solar plants with a total capacity of 400 MW will power nearly 70,000 homes, which is about 10 percent of CPS’ 728,000 electric customers in the San Antonio area.

The anchor member of the consortium, Nexolon America LLC, a unit of South Korean semiconductor maker Nexolon Co Ltd , will manufacturer most of the project’s solar panels.

Nexolon will invest about $100 million in a manufacturing facility and locate its North American headquarters in San Antonio, creating more than 400 of the 800 long-term jobs. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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