Two new solar farms are being proposed in Wharton County. The two projects – Hecate Energy Ramsey LLC and Louise Solar, LLC – are both seeking significant tax breaks in return for bringing their investment to the area. Hecate Energy Ramsey’s application was posted in March of this year, and Louise Solar’s was just posted in July. Both are still up for consideration by the taxing entities listed below.
The Hecate Energy Ramsey project is being proposed by parent company Hecate Energy, LLC. This company is based out of Chicago, IL, and has renewable energy plants based all around the world. Hecate Energy currently has one project in Texas already operating in Brewster County.
The Louise Solar project is being proposed by SunChase Power, LLC. This company is located in Austin, TX, and is ranked the 3rd highest capacity solar energy start-up in the U.S.
Given that solar producers receive over $230/MWh in federal subsidies, it is evident that these companies have been taking full advantage of federal funds in furthering their businesses.
It is not surprising that these companies have made their mark in Texas, 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 the companies are seeking in Wharton County:
- Wharton County – considering a $627,340 annual tax break for Hecate Energy Ramsey and a $351,165.75 annual tax break for Louise Solar
- Louise ISD – considering reducing the taxable value from $326,825,000 to $20,000,000 the first year for the Hecate Energy Ramsey project and from $142,500,000.00 to $20,000,000 the first year for the Louise Solar project.
- Wharton County Hospital District – considering a $108,654 annual tax break for Louise Solar
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, Hecate Energy and SunChase Power both applied for a waiver for the minimum job requirement, as Hecate Energy Ramsey will bring only three jobs to the area and Louise Solar only two.
After the Texas grid struggled 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.