Solar energy company expands operations to Brazoria County

An aerial shot of Wagyu, one of Cypress Creek's solar farms in Brazoria County. (Courtesy Cypress Creek)
An aerial shot of Wagyu, one of Cypress Creek's solar farms in Brazoria County. (Courtesy Cypress Creek)

An aerial shot of Wagyu, one of Cypress Creek's solar farms in Brazoria County. (Courtesy Cypress Creek)

Years ago, Brazoria County was covered in rice fields. As many of those operations shrink, the land in the county becomes available. Some of the buyers and users of that land are solar energy companies.

“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.
By Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. She was promoted to editor in February 2019. Haley primarily covers city government.


MOST RECENT

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2019 data for Pearland. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pearland minority population increases from 2014-19 and more census data

A look at 2019 U.S. census data for the city of Pearland

Pearland ISD's testing rates for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year were similar to first semester failure rates for the 2019-20 school year, according to district data. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First semester failure rates on par with previous year's in Pearland ISD

Pearland ISD discussed failure rates at its board of trustees meeting.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.

The estimated number of active COVID-19 cases in Harris County has surpassed 50,000, reaching 51,362 as of the most recent data Jan. 20, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Active cases top 50,000

See the latest trends on COVID-19 in Harris County.

More than 3,200 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Galveston County since Jan. 6. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Galveston County adds 38 COVID-19 deaths in 2 weeks

Nearly 30% of the total county coronavirus cases are considered active as of Jan. 20.

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2019 data for Friendswood. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)
Friendswood median income increases from 2014-19 and more census data

A look at 2019 U.S. census data for the city of Friendswood

Friendswood ISD's board of trustees meets twice monthly, once for a regular meeting and once for a workshop. (Courtesy of Friendswood ISD)
Friendswood ISD updates: Curriculum, calendar changes, bond fund allocation

Notable action items from the Jan. 12 meeting include the adjustment of asynchronous learning days for this school year, discussion of the academic calendar for next school year and approval of minor secondary curriculum changes for 2021-22.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about, where, when and how they can get inoculated.

The barbecue eatery is the second Killen's Restaurant Group venture to launch in The Woodlands area. (Courtesy Killen's Barbecue)
Killen's Barbecue opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Friendswood ISD trustees voted to shorten the district's mandated quarantine period from 14 days to 10 in accordance with CDC guidelines. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Friendswood ISD modifies COVID-19 protocols for 2020-21

Superintendent Thad Roher said the district is working to vaccinate its staffers who fall under Phase 1B of the state’s rollout plan.

Two Brazoria County clinics will begin offering vaccines to those who meet the criteria for Phases 1A and 1B of the state of Texas' vaccination plan. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 vaccines available in Pearland for specific groups

COVID-19 vaccines are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and are available by appointment only, according to Brazoria County.