Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Port of Corpus Christi to build the first solar farm in its history

Texas-based Port of Corpus Christi Commission approved a lease agreement with Buckeye Partners, L.P., that will establish the first solar farm in the 100-year history of the Port for transitioning to clean, sustainable energy over the next decade. The solar farm – which consists of more than 81,000 panels – will be located in San Patricio County on the Port of Corpus Christi property near Midway Junction.

Through this new agreement, Buckeye gets a two-year development term to evaluate the feasibility of constructing the solar farm project on 136.69 acres of Port-owned property. The North of the proposed lease promises is 112 acres, owned by Buckeye, yielding a combined acreage of 248 acres available to construct the farm. The solar farm will have the capacity to produce 88,000 MWh of electricity per year.

Strategically located on the western Gulf of Mexico with a 36-mile, soon-to-be 54-foot (MLLW) deep channel, Port Corpus Christi is one of the major U.S. crude oil export ports and the largest one in the United States in total revenue tonnage. However, the Port has embraced energy transition trends and is working on several projects to complement activities in the traditional forms of energy. In March 2022, the Port of Corpus Christi adopted an updated environmental policy to further clarify goals and set timeframes to achieve them over the next few years.

The partnership with Buckeye Partners is the latest initiative undertaken by Port Corpus Christi in its bullish drive to lead the global market into the energy renaissance, rendering renewable energy a legitimate and sustainable commodity.

“This new agreement deepens and further expands our longstanding partnership with the Port of Corpus Christi,” said Todd Russo, Chief Executive Officer for Buckeye Partners, L.P. “Buckeye is privileged to invest and work across South Texas, and we’re excited to help grow the region’s economy while diversifying our energy and lower-carbon solutions.”

The Port will likely provide more details as the project evolves. Commercial operations of the solar farm are tentatively scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2025.

“This agreement with Buckeye is an exciting new venture in the Port of Corpus Christi’s 100-year history,” said Charles W. Zahn Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman. “While we remain fully committed to traditional forms of energy – which will continue to power our world for decades to come – new initiatives like this can complement them by offering renewable energy for production and other operations.”