Tokyo Gas goes big in Texas solar energy space
Aktina solar PV project, biggest in Texas, one of largest in US
5 Aug 2020 | Michael Marray

Tokyo Gas has made a big move into the US solar market, with the acquisition of a still under-development photovoltaic (PV) plant located in Wharton County, Texas.

Upon completion, the 514-megawatt (MW) alternate currentcis expected to be the largest solar PV project in the state and one of the largest in the US. The project is scheduled to break ground in the third quarter of 2020 and the first blocks, operational by the third quarter of 2021.

Tokyo Gas America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Gas Company, has agreed to acquire the project from Hecate Energy, the largest privately held independent solar power development company in the US.

The project is strategically located near the fast-growing Houston market, notes Tokyo Gas. All the power generated will be sold to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) wholesale market. ERCOT manages the deregulated power market for around 75% of Texas.

Earlier this year, Tokyo Gas agreed to buy a 50% stake in French company Engie’s renewables joint venture in Mexico.

The joint venture company Heolios EnTG will develop, own and operate six renewable energy projects in Mexico. It will also be responsible for financing, building, and maintaining the projects.

The six projects in Mexico already have 15-year power purchase agreements in place. Two are onshore wind projects and two are solar photovoltaic, and the total capacity of all six is 899MW.

Chicago-based Hecate is a leading developer, owner, and operator of renewable power projects and storage solutions in North America and internationally.

Hecate Energy, founded in 2012, has contracted or sold 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar projects and an additional 100MW of battery storage and other contracts. It has more than 9.5GW of additional solar power and 1.1 GW of storage in its active project pipeline.

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