Leeward begins construction on 200 MW Texas solar project


Leeward Renewable Energy announced that it has begun construction on the Horizon Solar project, located in Frio County, Texas, southwest of San Antonio.

The Horizon Solar project is a 200 MW installation with a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with Verizon, which was announced as one of four PPAs between the two companies, as Verizon looks to achieve net zero emissions in the company’s direct operations by 2035.

Construction on the Horizon Solar project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023, creating more than 400 construction jobs in that timespan, which Leeward says will be sourced through the local workforce. The project will include solar modules from First Solar and smart solar tracker solutions from NexTracker.

We are pleased to begin construction at our Horizon Solar project,” said Omar Aboudaher, Leeward’s vice president of development. “Today marks another important milestone in the development of the 200 MW Texas solar facility, bringing LRE one step closer to providing clean, renewable energy. We thank the community and officials of Frio County for their support and look forward to a long-term partnership.”

Horizon is Leeward’s second solar installation in Texas, with the other being the company’s 30 MW Barilla Solar project, which it acquired from First Solar in Jan. 2021. In total, Leeward expects to have over 1.2 GW of contracted solar projects in operation by end of 2023 and has approximately 16 GW of solar projects in development and construction.

As for sourcing the components to meet this 16 GW development pipeline, in April, Leeward and First Solar entered into a multi-year framework supply agreement, through which First Solar will provide Leeward with 1 GW of thin-film PV modules for use in Leeward’s US solar development and construction pipeline through 2024.

The deal builds on existing module supply agreements between the two companies, bringing the total supply capacity to  over 3 GW of modules, which are estimated to enable the construction of 18 new solar facilities from 2022 to 2024.

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