By Austin Business Journal

Pflugerville could be home to the largest solar farm in Texas, pending a final agreement between RRE Austin Solar, the City of Pflugerville, Elgin ISD and Travis County, according to local officials.

RRE Austin Solar, a local company backed by India-based investors, has bought 600 acres of farmland about 15 miles east of Pflugerville.

The Pflugerville City Council announced this week that it has signed an agreement with Austin Solar, under which the company will install up to $750,000 in solar panels for City of Pflugerville and Pflugerville ISD public facilities.

The Elgin ISD board of trustees has passed a resolution of support, inviting Austin Solar to submit an application for Chapter 313 incentives.

But the company is still working out the details of tax abatement agreements with the school district and Travis County. RRE Austin Solar President Dinesh Mehta said without the agreements from all three government parties, the project would not be financially feasible.

If all goes as anticipated, RRE Austin Solar plans to break ground on the project at the end of 2010 at the intersection of Manda-Carlson Road at Felder Lane in the eastern portion of the cityâ¿¿s extraterritorial jurisdiction. Under the agreement, the equipment must be installed by Jan. 1, 2014 and be operational by Aug. 1, 2014.

The City of Pflugerville agreed not to annex the property. In exchange for not annexing the solar plant once itâ¿¿s running, RRE Austin Solar will give Pflugerville the $750,000 worth of solar panels and wind turbines to install on city buildings as the new equipment will help lower the cityâ¿¿s operation costs. The company will also pay the city $2.5 million over the course of the 30-year contract.

The Pflugerville Solar Power Plant will be capable of producing 60 megawatts of electricityâ¿¿enough electricity to power every house in Pflugerville and its ETJ, said Terri Waggoner, a city spokeswoman.

⿿We⿿re excited about this project because it continues the direction that our city began many years ago in regards to being earth friendly,⿝ Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman said. ⿿Pflugervillians, like most Central Texans, have a high degree of concern about the environment, and therefore I think our citizens will be proud that this opportunity is in Pflugerville.⿝

RRE officials said they have more plans for other similar plants in Central Texas, but Pflugerville is slated to be the first up and running. The plant will create 200 to 300 construction jobs but once it is up and running, itâ¿¿ll only employ around five workers.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010