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New 167,00 Panel Solar Farm Now In Operation For San Antonio

Joey Palacios
167,000 of these solar panels cover the 450 acre plot of land a few miles south of San Antonio.

A new solar farm on the far South Side of San Antonio is now generating electricity for CPS energy.

Just south of loop 410  on Blue Wing Road is a newly built solar farm called Alamo 1. At 453 acres it’s the size 300 foot ball field and can generate enough energy to power 6,600 homes. It’s 167,00 solar panels went online last week, generating 40 megawatts - it’s the first phase of what will be a 400 megawatt project.

OCI Solar spent $110 million building the facility and it is selling the generated power to CPS Energy. Cris Eugster, executive vice president with CPS Energy, said solar prices have dropped in recent years, adding that it’s a little more expensive than traditional fuels.

"If you look at 20-25 year horizon and rising fossil fuel costs -- there’s no rising fuel costs with a farm like this -- over the long term this will provide more affordable power to our community," Eugster said.

OCI Solar Power President Tony Dorizio said the farm will generate peak power at peak usage points throughout the day.

"When people wake up the sun rises people turn on their air conditioning and they start the coffee pot, that’s when we’re producing energy," Dorizio said. "At the peak of the day in San Antonio -- at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. -- when the temperatures rise to their peaks, we’re producing peak power."

Alamo 1 is the first part of a group of solar farms. Alamo II is expected to be completed in early 2014. Others are planned around the state but the locations have not been revealed.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules