New solar farm in Grimes County set to power over 45,000 homes and businesses
“We expect for the next 35+ years we’ll be producing power for the Grimes County area and the state of Texas thereafter.”
IOLA, Texas (KBTX) - Construction continues on Blue Jay Solar Farm off Highway 164 in Iola. The green energy provider will house more than 650,000 solar panels across more than 3,000 acres. It’s expected to generate enough energy to power nearly 47,000 homes and businesses.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas is the largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state in the nation. The industrial sector, including its refineries and petrochemical plants, accounts for half of the energy consumed in the state, which makes Texas the leader in the nation in wind, energy, and soon solar power.
Heath Herje is the Senior Development Director for Enel Green Power, the parent company of Blue Jay Solar. He says Central Texas and Grimes County made for the perfect location for a solar farm.
“Grimes County is in a great place in the state of Texas. Not only is it close to load centers and large communities that have a high power demand, but it’s also a very sunny part of Texas as well,” said Herje.
Herje says Enel Green Power’s relationship with ERCOT will allow the smooth transfer and storage of energy that can be transferred to the main power grid which would be beneficial to all Texans.
“We have an interconnection agreement with the local transmission service providers. There are several across the state of Texas that are also in the ERCOT system, and we’ve already had plans in place to interconnect this project and bring our power to the local grid system to be used by Texans in the area,” said Herje.
The project is also expected to have a major economic impact on Grimes County. John McNally with the Navasota-Grimes County Chamber of Commerce says $37 million in tax revenue is expected from the deal with Blue Jay Solar.
“The impact is not only an economic impact but is also an environmental impact and in a positive way and an impact to our region as they provide clean energy to the entire region,” said McNally.
Construction on the solar farm is expected to be completed this fall.
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