Sulphur Springs Independent School District Board of Trustees had called a special meeting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, to consider several documents regarding two proposed solar farms, followed by team of eight training.
Public hearings on the designation of the Hopkins Energy LLC Reinvestment Zone #2 and designation of the Solemio Reinvestment Zone are slated to be held during the meeting.
Hopkins County Energy LLC
The Hopkins Energy LLC hearing is regarding the application submitted to the Comptroller’s Office for appraised value limitation on qualified property where the solar farm would be located. Property in this project is located in the Dike area and encompasses land in both the Sulphur Springs and Sulphur Bluff school districts. The project, according to information presented to SBISD board members in June, is a nearly 3,000-acre $240 million solar project, $96 million worth of it within SSISD
The proposed Hopkins Energy LLC project would encompass 2,962 acres in northeastern Hopkins County and be a 320 MW-AC solar electric generating facility, with 1,625,000 photovoltaic panels, and 140 central inverters. Of those, an estimated 1,184 acres is expected to be in Sulphur Springs ISD; that would include 128 MW of capacity, 650,000 photovoltaic panels and 56 central inverters in SSISD. The rest would be located on land with Sulphur Bluff ISD.”
The proposed Dike Site is one of many international company Alpin Sun is considering in the United States. The project is contingent on receiving tax incentives from four local taxing entities: Sulphur Springs and Sulphur Bluff school district, Hopkins County and the county hospital district.
Sulphur Springs ISD trustees on June 10 accepted an application to agree to consider a value limitation for the 40 percent of the proposed facility to be located within the school district boundary and hired Powell Youngblood & Taylor to assist the district with legalities of the project.
Sulphur Bluff ISD Board of Trustees Thursday, June 20, accepted an application for an appraised value limitation for Hopkins Energy LLC and also hired the attorneys to represent them.
The Comptroller’s Office returned their reviews of the application ruled that the Hopkins Energy LLC is “reasonably likely to generate tax revenue in an amount of offset the school district’s maintenance and operations ad valorem tax revenue lost as a result of the agreement before the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the limitation period.” The comptroller issued a certificate for a limitation on appraised value.
ERCOT on Nov. 20, 2018 gave Hopkins Solar an IGNR number.
The Solemio LLC project agreement received approval from SSISD on Dec. 10, 2018, after the Comptroller’s Officer reported it met the Chapter 313 agreement requirements, provided total employment requirement is waived. The project was to be for a 100 MW solar electric generating facility to be constructed on four properties in the Arbala area which would provide full-time jobs with competitive salaries. It was to have a 100 megawatt capacity, feature 277,812 photovoltaic panels and 32 central inverters. The project was formerly an Alpin Sun project, but is now a Pattern Development project.
Pattern Development officials in January said the project is actually a $65 million project due to limited topographical issues. The Pattern representatives at that time said they were looking for more land to add to the solar farm project.
SSISD is now being asked to consider approving an amended appraised value limitation application, which will require a hearing for the now proposed reinvestment zone for the Solemio project.
After considering document regarding the solar projects, SSISD trustees and Superintendent Michael Lamb are slated to participate in a “Team of 8” training.
The special SSISD Board of Trustees meeting is slated to begin at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, in the Board Room of SSISD Administration Building, 631 Connally St.