Abernathy's Future Is Bright; Hope To Lease Land For Solar Farm

The city of Abernathy is working on a deal with Duke Energy and to fill 1300 acres of empty fields near I27 and FM 54 with thousands of solar panels.
By Ashley Hinson

ABERNATHY
, TX—The city of Abernathy is working on a deal with Duke Energy and to fill 1300 acres of empty fields near I27 and FM 54 with thousands of solar panels.  

"We're certainly excited about the energy opportunities," said Mike Cypert, Abernathy's city manager.

The solar energy farm would be the first of its kind in West Texas using the sun to produce 130 megawatts powering thousands of homes across the s,tate.

"They know that the sun is going to shine a certain amount of hours discounting the clouds once in a while," said Cypert.  "Wind can blow right now and then ten minutes after that it can be dead."

The land Duke wants to lease is adjacent to the Golden Spread Electric Cooperative’s Antelope Station, a deliberate decision as solar farms must be within two miles of a power plant to operate.

If Duke agrees with the final terms of the lease Cypert expects the solar farm would make Abernathy more than $2 million.

"We get the tax base from the schools, we get the tax base from the county, there's going to be jobs created during the construction phase of that there's also the revenue end of it for the city," said Cypert.  "We hope this will open up other projects like it; it keeps the economy going."

The agreement includes a 25 year lease with 3, five year options.

Two area landowners are also involved in the deal. 

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