The proposed solar power project in Brown County is now under construction. The project is being built in the southwest corner of the county.
The solar farm is a project of IP Radian Solar of San Francisco, California. It was first proposed in 2019. The Brookesmith Independent School District applied to the State of Texas for a Chapter 313 Appraised Value Limitation in July of that year. With approval of that application from the State, the Brookesmith ISD Board of Trustees voted in January 2020 to create a “Radian Reinvestment Zone,” which allows for an appraisal value limitation agreement between the District and IP Radian.
Even with the appraisal limitation the Brookesmith ISD will receive increased revenues from the solar plant. At a meeting with local taxpayers last week, Superintendent Steve Mickelson said the District expects to receive approximately $2.3 million from IP Radian in January 2023. This payment is in lieu of the loss of Maintenance and Operations taxes resulting from the appraisal limitation agreement. In addition, the District will receive $50,000 per year for 15 years from IP Radian.
At the meeting last week, the committee of local taxpayers set priorities on how to use the new revenues. The first priorities were improvements and upgrades to the current campus, a remodeled and improved cafetorium, and an improved athletic track.
IP Radian also requested a Chapter 312 tax abatement from Brown County, but that was voted down by the County Commissioners earlier this year.
Construction on the IP Radian solar project began in September, with an expected completion date of December 2022. It covers 2300 acres and will produce 300 megawatts of AC power, and 415 megawatts of DC power. Three-hundred full time jobs are being created during the construction phase.
Another solar project known as Mustang has been proposed, but is not a certainty at this point. If approved, it would also generate $50,000 per year for 15 years for the Brookesmith ISD, along with a one-time payment of approximately $1.5 million in January 2023.
The photo above is a file photo, not a photo of the solar project in Brown County. In the map below, the solar project is within the dark lines in the southwest corner of the county.