Startup to build solar ‘farm’ near Pflugerville, create hundreds of jobs

A major solar “farm” is being planned near the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, and the company behind the $240 million project will hire hundreds of mostly temporary workers in Central Texas.

The Pflugerville City Council has signed an agreement with RRE Austin Solar LLC, which describes itself as “a leading-edge alternative energy company,” to build the 550-acre solar “farm” east of Pflugerville near Coupland.

The solar plant will be capable of producing 60 megawatts of electricity—enough to power every home in the Pflugerville area. If it opened today, the RRE Austin Solar plant would be the largest of its kind in the country, the company says.

Angelos Angelou (photo), an Austin economic development consultant working with RRE Austin Solar, says that once a tax abatement agreement is secured from Travis County, the company will be based in Travis County. RRE Austin Solar also is awaiting a tax abatement from the Elgin Independent School District to support the project.

RRE Austin Solar will create four to five permanent jobs here, Angelou says, as well as 300 to 450 construction jobs during the 2½-year construction schedule.

People who are interested in working for RRE Austin Solar are asked to send their resumes to jobs@rresolar.com.

The company also is seeking equity investors (hiren@rresolar.com), solar consultants (daven@rresolar.com) and various vendors (raj@rresolar.com or navendran@rresolar.com).

RRE Austin Solar says it was incorporated this year to develop solar power plants in the United States that will generate a total of up to 500 megawatts of energy.

Two Indian companies, NEPC India Ltd. and PowerTech Private Ltd., are backing RRE Austin Solar. Dinesh Mehta is president of RRE Austin Solar, and Daven Mehta is CEO.

RRE Austin Solar expects to break ground on the plant during the final two to three months of 2010.  The plant is scheduled to be running by August 2014. Energy from the plant will be sold through electricity providers.

As part of its agreement with the City of Pflugerville, RRE Austin Solar will install up to $750,000 worth of solar panels and small wind turbines for public facilities operated by the city and the Pflugerville Independent School District.

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