Port of Corpus Christi working to develop its 1st solar farm
Texas-based Port of Corpus Christi has set sights on its first solar farm in the 100-year history of the energy exporting port.
The port authority is partnering with Buckeye Partners, L.P. on an 81,000+ panel project that will be located in San Patricio County on Port of Corpus Christi property near Midway Junction.
Specifically, on August 16th, the port commissioners approved a lease agreement that provides Buckeye with a two-year development term to evaluate the feasibility of constructing the solar farm project on 136.69 acres of port-owned property.
North of the proposed lease premises are 112 acres, owned by Buckeye, yielding a combined acreage of 248 acres available to construct the farm, which will have the capacity to produce 88,000 MWh of electricity per year.
Commercial operations of the solar farm are tentatively scheduled to begin in Q4 2025.
“This is an exciting day for the Port of Corpus Christi as this lease agreement reinforces our commitment not only to embrace renewable energy developments we have long made a priority, but to solidify the port as a thought leader in the global energy marketplace, with the support of our partners at Buckeye,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi.
“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,” said Todd Russo, Chief Executive Officer for Buckeye Partners, L.P.
As one of the major U.S. crude oil export ports, the Port of Corpus Christi is the largest port 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.
As part of its diversification plans, the port has engaged in initiatives related to hydrogen production and carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS).
In September last year, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PPCA) and the Texas General Land Office signed a memorandum of understanding to co-develop a carbon dioxide (CO2) storage solution in the Coastal Bend in support of national decarbonization targets.
Such a solution would involve infrastructure to transport and permanently store CO2 captured by various industrial target sources in the greater Port of Corpus Christi area. Based on the findings of geological studies conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Gulf Coast region is ideal for the injection and storage of pressurized CO2.
Furthermore, Apex Clean Energy, Ares, EPIC Midstream, and PPCA are looking into green hydrogen production, including a new pipeline and a green fuels hub at the port.
Under the plan, Apex would utilize its wind and solar projects currently in development in Texas to power facilities producing green hydrogen and derivative green fuels products. In addition, EPIC would consider leveraging its pipeline construction and operating expertise to accelerate the development of a new, dedicated green fuels pipeline. The project would tap into existing and new storage, processing, and export infrastructure sited on real estate owned by PCCA.