“Brazoria County still has a lot of land. We are a large county,” County Judge Matt Sebesta said. “Brazoria County has acres of rice—less now, but producing the same amount on small acreage. A lot of land that has been cleared is available for solar.”
The county has six solar projects expanding their business into Brazoria County. Two belong to Cypress Creek, which chose Brazoria County for two of its solar farms: Wagyu and Longbow, located in Brazoria County near Damon and Liverpool, respectively. Both projects sit on land that was once used for agriculture, said Nicko Keene, the associate director of development for Cypress Creek.
“Almost all of the land we lease or purchase in Texas was in agriculture,” Keene said. “We can buy or sell land for a lot more than [the owners] are making on it.”
The solar energy market is growing in Texas, and Brazoria County is no exception. Most solar companies are building solar facilities in the county. While residents can opt for solar, Brazoria County is seeing a trend in businesses—including petrochemical businesses—choosing solar energy.
Wagyu provides a large portion of its solar power to BP. Another large portion goes to Starbucks locations across Texas, Keene said.
“There is a big increase in businesses looking for solar energy,” Keene said. “It’s more sustainable ... but it’s also the cheapest way for them to buy electricity.”
Cypress Creek leadership knew they wanted to expand to the Houston area and was attracted to Brazoria County because of the land as well as the business-friendly nature of the county, Keene said.
“The county judge and Commissioners Court wanted a development of this nature to come to the county. We have increased tax revenue that the county and the school districts will receive,” Keene said.
On top of being business friendly, Brazoria County is continuing to grow, which also makes it appealing to the solar energy market, Sebesta said.
“One thing about Brazoria County is that we have a good number of rooftops, with more rooftops coming,” Sebesta said.
As Cypress Creek grows, it plans to keep doing business in Texas, Keene said.
“We’re very happy in Texas and plan to be here for years to come,” Keene said.