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Council Approves Solar Facility Deal For Brooks City Base

City of San Antonio

In exchange for creating hundreds of jobs, the city has agreed to a business deal with solar manufacturing company Nexolon America.

Nexolon will build a manufacturing plant at Brooks with ordinances to create a reinvestment zone at the base including: A 10-year 100 percent tax abatement, $400,000 in grant money to create 400 jobs, and $12 million for future infrastructure improvements.

Mayor Julián Castro believes the project contributes to the vision of SA2020 to create a highly skilled workforce.

Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna, who oversees District 3 where Brooks City Base is located, said the Southside is blossoming with innovative businesses and infrastructure improvements.

She said this partnership strengthens the long-term vision of economic development and a higher quality of living in the area.

Rene Dominguez, the director of the city's Economic Development Office, agrees.

"This project will no doubt be a catalyst for additional investment and economic development at Brooks City Base," said Dominguez.

Councilmembers Carlton Soules, Reed Williams and Elisa Chan agreed with most of the deal except for the $12 million investment.

Chan questioned the net gain for the city.

"In this case here, we're giving the $12 million to do the infrastructure; the land at this point in time is valued at $17 million. The company will put up $5 million as lease but can get the control of land at any time," she said.

City Manager Sheryl Sculley pointed out that Brooks has more than $70 million in infrastructure needs.

The Nexolon America project comes from an agreement to build a 400 megawatt solar energy project, which was signed this year between CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power.

OCI relocated to San Antonio to operate its anchor facility to manufacture solar energy products, invest at least $100 million and create at least 805 solar energy related jobs.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.