Two new solar farms are being proposed in Ector County. The two projects – Rockhound Solar A and Rockhound Solar B – are both seeking significant tax breaks in return for bringing their investment to the area. Both applications were posted in March of this year and are still up for consideration by the taxing entities listed below.
Both projects in Ector County are being proposed by Origis Energy USA. This company is based out of Miami, FL, and has solar farms based all around the country. In fact, Origis was recently named the 2nd largest solar developer in the U.S.
Given that solar producers receive over $230/MWh in federal subsidies, it is evident that this company has been taking full advantage of federal funds in furthering their business.
While these projects would be Origis’ first projects in Texas, it is not surprising that the company has finally made its way here, given the significant tax incentives that many local governments provide to renewable energy producers, primarily through Chapters 312 and 313 of the tax code.
Here is an overview of what Origis is seeking in Ector County:
- Ector County – considering a $313,100 annual tax break for Rockhound Solar A and a $286,700 annual tax break for Rockhound Solar B
- Ector County ISD – considering reducing the taxable value from $142,688,000 to $100,000,000 the first year for the Rockhound Solar A project and from $131,096,000 to $100,000,000 the first year for Rockhound Solar B
- Ector County Hospital District – considering a $157,500 annual tax break for Rockhound Solar A and a $81,300 annual tax break for Rockhound Solar B
- Odessa College – considering a $89,000 annual tax break for Rockhound Solar A and a $144,900 annual tax break for Rockhound Solar B
These incentives are provided at the expense of local taxpayers in the area. Why should multimillion- or multibillion-dollar corporations be provided with tax breaks, especially since they are bringing little more than unreliable energy and higher electricity costs?
Also, Origis applied for a waiver for the minimum job requirement, as in the case of both Rockhound Solar A and B, each project will bring only two jobs.
As the Texas grid struggles to keep up with the summer heat, Texas should end state and local renewable subsidies to ensure an affordable and reliable supply of energy.
See a full list of ongoing renewable energy projects here to see if YOUR county is being affected.