solar

Another renewable energy development company would like to place a 150-megawatt solar farm within Wharton County, this time on 1,200 acres of ranch land outside of East Bernard.

Ty White, manager, and Caton Fenz, chief development officer with ConnectGEN, a Houston-based renewable energy developer, made presentations and answered questions from Commissioner’s Court at Monday’s meeting.

The project, proposed for CR 207 between Hungerford and East Bernard, is worth between $100 to $150 million, and it would be located within East Bernard ISD, according to White. Construction could begin in June 2020, and the project could go online by June 2021.

ConnectGEN has not submitted an application with the county for a Chapter 312 tax abatement, and no abatement discussion has occurred, Fenz said.

When asked by Judge Philip Spenrath if ConnectGEN intended to meet with Precinct 2 Commissioner Chris King, who was not present, and with the EBISD board of trustees, White replied “Yes.”

ConnectGEN makes the fourth renewable energy company looking to develop solar farms within the county. The other three are Hecate Energy, LLC, and SunChase Power, LLC, both proposed for Louise, and AP Solar Holdings, LLC for Pierce Ranch. The court has taken applications for Chapter 312 tax abatements from both Hecate and AP Solar with no agreements made.

Hecate submitted its application to the court in April requesting a 70 percent abatement for 10 years on a $500 million project. The application failed for lack of a motion in May.

Louise ISD has taken Chapter 312 applications from both Hecate and SunChase, with no agreements made, while Wharton ISD board of trustees approved AP Solar’s application for a Chapter 313 in May.

The Court has approved one solar project — an eight year-abatement at 50 percent for the Cascade Solar, LLC project — a smaller, $10-million-project on 75 acres outside of Lane City.

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