farmers branch

Farmers Branch Announces First Solar Farm in Texas

The farm is the first of its kind and officials on the project hope other cities follow

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On Friday, the City of Farmers Branch announced it's making some pretty powerful moves.

The city is set to become the first in Texas to operate entirely on solar energy produced within its borders.

In February, the city entered an agreement with BQ Energy Development to design, build, and operate a 23-acre solar farm on a piece of land owned by the city.

With construction set to finish in the fall of 2024, the solar farm will be the only of its kind, owned by the city.

The site is a former landfill, which although it limits its uses, they are typically turned into parks, golf courses, of wildlife refuges.

Unlike most developmental projects, Farmers Branch Sustainability Manager Alex Pharmakis says that the project will not require a lot of remediation measures, which typically come with permitting and fees from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Officials also believe the new solar farm could bring taxpayer savings for residents.

"The agreement with BQ Energy locks in the city's cost for 20 years at a rate comparable to recent averages," Pharmakis said.

If energy prices continue to rise, the Farmers Branch stands to save.

"The farm is expected to generate 13.6 million kWh per year, which is much more than needed to power all city-owned facilities," said City Spokesperson Jeff Brady. "It will connect to the Texas power grid and be distributed by a power retailer to be named later."

The new site is located in an industrial area near the intersection of the Bush Turnpike and Valley View Lane.

"Our [city] council is committed to fully and quickly enacting the policy changes necessary to produce a more sustainable future for Farmers Branch," Mayor Robert C. Dye said. "This solar farm represents a major step in that direction."

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