Tech giant Samsung plans to spend $ 673 million to build solar power farms in central Texas, according to documents filed with the state.
Samsung C&T, a subsidiary of the Samsung Group, has negotiated tax breaks for potential projects in Milam County, north of the Austin metropolitan area.
Samsung C&T is one of the many subsidiaries of Samsung Electronics, which already has a strong presence in central Texas. Samsung C&T mainly focuses on construction, engineering, trade, investment, fashion and resort projects.
Plans for the project call for three solar farms that could produce up to 700 megawatts of electricity.
The filings show three separate projects on more than 6,800 acres of land in Milam County, which is east of Williamson County and about an hour and a half from Austin. Samsung is leasing the land long-term, according to the documents. Once operational, the projects would last 25 years or more, depending on filings with the state.
After:Austin plant shutdown during freeze cost Samsung at least $ 268 million
After:Samsung wants $ 1 billion tax incentive for new Austin factory that would create 1,800 jobs
Milam County sites compete with sites in California, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arkansas, and Mississippi, as well as several sites in Washington, DC. other countries, according to documents filed with the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
Three Milam County school districts – Rosebud-Lott, Cameron and Buckholts – combined to approve four Chapter 313 agreements earlier this month for the project, under the names of Ben Milam Solar 1, 2 and 3.
Chapter 313 Incentive Agreements refer to Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code, which allows school districts to grant a property tax reduction of up to ten years for economic development projects.
The districts each approved separate 10-year agreements with Samsung C&T starting in the 2024-25 school year. Buckholts School District has an agreement that limits the assessed value to $ 17 million, Cameron School District limits it to $ 20 million and with Rosebud-Lott School District two agreements limit the assessed value to $ 40 million of dollars.
Construction on the projects could begin as early as June 2022 and the facilities could be operational by December 2023. The company said in a filing that the project was still in the early stages of development and could be redeployed to other competing states. for similar renewable energies. projects if necessary.
The filings suggest that the project would bring several hundred direct and indirect jobs each year for the first two years, but would only guarantee one job to each district thereafter, which is consistent with solar projects.
Last month, the Reuters news service reported that Samsung was developing solar power plants in Texas, with the aim of selling the electricity produced from December 2023. The report said a company official told Reuters that Samsung Renewable Energy “is proceeding with state approval procedures.” about the project. The company aims to sell the electricity produced from December 2023.
Samsung has made big investments in renewables in recent years. In October, Samsung C&T said it would end new coal-related investments and projects, and in 2018, Samsung Electronics said it aimed to use 1100% renewable energy by 2020 for factories and plants. offices in the United States, Europe and China, about half of its total buildings in the world.
Samsung has had a significant presence in Austin since 1997, including a manufacturing plant and a research and development facility.
In central Texas, the company is seeking more than $ 1 billion in taxpayer-subsidized incentives from local government entities, according to documents filed with the state. The company bought land that could indicate an expansion in Austin is already underway.
It’s unclear whether the Texas freeze in February, which shut down Samsung’s Austin manufacturing plant, could take the company away from either project. Samsung’s plant in Austin was offline for more than a month after shutdown due to power outages during the freeze. The company said it lost at least $ 268 million due to damaged products as a result of the shutdown.
Samsung executives also said the company’s semiconductor business saw first-quarter profits plummet, mainly due to disruption and product losses caused by the shutdown.
Last week, the company declined to say whether central Texas is still under review, when the company could make a decision, or if the freeze could affect the decision.
“Although we don’t have specific plans to build a new factory at the moment, we are constantly exploring various business development opportunities in order to be ready when such opportunities arise,” said the Samsung spokesperson, Michele Glaze, in a written statement. “No decision has been made yet.”