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Technology & Entrepreneurship

Texas Could See $100 Million In Solar Investments

Travis Bubenik

A deal announced Monday could mean a $100 million towards solar projects in Texas. Austin-based solar power company PowerFin Partners will develop and build the projects and Toronto-based real estate investors Fengate will finance the deals as part of today’s announced co-development deal.

“Financing of solar projects is pretty difficult,” said Tuan Pham, president of PowerFin. “(The deal) allows Fengate to focus on the financing and us to focus on the operating, development, and construction.”

PowerFin is best known for developing projects like CPS Energy’s residential solar program, SolarHostsSA — a program in which PowerFin constructed and owns solar arrays distributed on homes across the city —and Austin Energy’s community solar project.

Both projects now belong to Fengate as part of the deal, along with the nine megawatt generation power as part of the deal. PowerFin will continue to operate and maintain the solar arrays.

Fengate director Greg Calhoun pointed to both projects as innovations in the solar market and part of the reason they decided to partner with PowerFin. Another big reason was accessing Texas’ solar market.

“Texas is the fastest growing solar market in the U.S.,” Calhoun said. “There’s a great resource here. There’s population growth, so the macroeconomic story makes sense. The resource story makes sense.”

Calhoun declined to talk about a specific timeline for the new projects, and expects the money to last “multiple years.”

It is the second $100 million solar development commitment that Fengate has announced in three months. Fengate will partner with Alberta, Canada-based Greengate Power Corporation.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org or follow him on Twitter @paulflahive