Economically energized

Multimillion-dollar solar project with 350 jobs charges forward in Travis County

Multimillion-dollar solar project charges forward in Travis County

SolarCity solar panel house
The project will supply power for as many as 25,000 homes served by Austin Energy. SolarCity/Facebook

Here’s a ray of sunshine in a cloudy economy: Austin-based RigUp Inc. is hiring 350 people to build a solar power project in Travis County.

The temporary construction workers will put up the 144-megawatt solar project on a 950-acre site that’s southeast of Pflugerville and northeast of Manor. According to a September 9 release from RigUp, half of the 350 construction jobs will be filled by local workers. Construction is expected to wrap up in early 2021.

Among the positions being filled by RigUp, whose platform provides skilled laborers for the energy sector, are electrician, equipment operator, and solar panel installer.

The project, approved in 2018 by the Austin City Council, will supply power for as many as 25,000 homes served by Austin Energy. Recurrent Energy LLC, which owns the project, says construction started in August. To support the project, Recurrent Energy has lined up $234 million in construction financing.

“The project not only expands our renewable portfolio and advances our climate protection goals, [but] it is also located near our customer base,” Jackie Sargent, general manager of Austin Energy, said in an August release. “The solar project will also deliver affordable energy to our customers, and it demonstrates Austin Energy’s continued dedication to fiscal responsibility and environmental leadership.”

The project will bring Austin Energy’s solar capacity to nearly 966 megawatts.