UGE International Ltd. (the "Company" or "UGE"), a leader in commercial and community solar, has acquired two solar projects and one battery energy storage system ("BESS") in Texas. The first project reached commercial operation this week, shortly after closing the acquisition. The acquisition marks UGE's entrance into the Texas market.
The acquisition is comprised of two ground-mount solar projects and one BESS project, all located in Bastrop County, Texas. The first solar project, which totals 1.4MW DC, achieved commercial operation ("COD") on January 31. The second solar project, with a rated capacity of 1.3MW DC, is expected to reach the NTP ("Notice to Proceed") milestone by the end of Q2 and reach commercial operation by the end of the year. The energy produced by the first project will be sold to the City of Smithville, Texas, where the projects are sited, under a Power Purchase Agreement ("PPA"), providing the town with cheaper, cleaner electricity. UGE has a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with a potential off-taker of the second project, which the Company anticipates will convert into a PPA in the coming months.
"The new Smithville solar farm will reduce energy costs for our City while simultaneously lowering our carbon emissions," said Robert Tamble, Smithville City Manager. "We look forward to partnering with UGE in the future to bring additional renewable energy to our community."
UGE is developing a BESS to pair with the two solar projects. The combination of solar and BESS, which the Company has already begun to pursue at many of its eligible projects, maximizes the usability of energy generated by the solar installation while further strengthening grid resiliency for the surrounding community.
Although there is not yet a community solar program in the state of Texas, the market for clean energy in the state is robust, with municipalities and commercial customers routinely procuring large amounts of renewable energy. Additionally, ERCOT, the Independent System Operator (ISO) that controls approximately 75% of the grid in Texas, has well-developed rules for interconnection, making project development faster and easier in Texas than in many other states. UGE will continue to pursue more projects in Texas in 2023 and beyond.
"The Texas market is ripe with opportunity for UGE to apply its expertise in developing mid-sized renewable energy projects," said Nick Blitterswyk, Founder and CEO of UGE. "This is the first of many projects that UGE will develop, own, and operate in Texas."
The terms of the acquisition have not been released for competitive reasons but meet or exceed UGE's project return thresholds. With commercial operation on the first project, UGE's U.S. operating portfolio grows from 2.3MW to 3.8MW.