Company looking at Wichita County site for $120M battery farm

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A new green energy company is seeking county approval and assistance to build a large facility using state-of-the-art batteries to store energy for use during peak demand times.

Solvent Energy made a presentation to the Wichita County Commissioners Friday morning, April 19, about a $120 million initial investment by the company in the facility, proposed for a 12-acre site about halfway between Iowa Park and Electra.

Before proceeding further with the project, the company is seeking a property tax abatement from the county to reduce overall costs.  The commissioners told the representative they would provide him with the application today.  

The facility's concept is to take power off the grid in low peak times and store it to put back into the grid in high peak times, such as on 100-degree or frigid winter days when demand shoots up.

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A company representative said this is beneficial to energy customers who see costs of energy per kilowatt hour go up when demand increases.

Commissioners had numerous questions about the proposal and the facility, such as potential threats to the water supply if there were leaks and the danger of fires, which they pointed out would be on volunteer fire departments for the initial response.

The company rep said the risks are very low, and training and information would definitely be provided to fire departments on how to deal with any fires or spills.

More discussions and meetings are anticipated before the project is given county assistance and approval, and the company said that if it goes forward, it will be anywhere from 18 months to 2 years from the start-up.

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