What We Do
There are six key steps that Bordas takes to successfully develop our wind and solar energy projects. Some of these steps occur at the same time and all of them are complicated. Yet Bordas has mastered the how’s, what’s and when’s of successful project development giving it an unparalleled track record of success and strong landowner relationships in South Texas. Here are those six steps:
Site Identification & Assessment
Bordas evaluates a potential wind and/or solar site by determining the quality of the wind and the sun at the site, (called the “wind/solar resource”), the access to the transmission system and electric grid (this is how the electricity gets delivered to homes and businesses), the impact on the environment, and whether there is property available to lease in the area. This step in the process usually involves on-site measurement equipment to evaluate the wind and/or solar resource, discussions with the local electric utility, as well as early discussions with local landowners and stakeholders.
Once a potential site is identified, Bordas works with local landowners to sign a lease or easement that enables us to use a portion of the landowner’s property for a long-term wind or solar project. Bordas has historically paid some of the highest rates in the country to South Texas landowners for these leases or easements. And in most cases, the use of the property does not interfere with the way the landowner’s already use it while at the same time providing an added source of long-term revenue and stability to the local landowners. Typical Bordas wind and solar leases involve a 5-year development term and a 30 – 50 year operation term, which give the landowners peace of mind knowing that the revenue stream will exist far into the future.
Permitting & Approvals
During this step, Bordas works with the applicable federal, state, and local agencies to obtain the required permits for each wind and solar project that it develops. As part of this process, Bordas performs long-term environmental studies for the proposed project to fully understand its impact on the local and regional environment and to make sure that any project we develop complies with all applicable permitting requirements and regulations related to land use, birds, bats, and wildlife.
Interconnection with the Electric Grid
In order to connect a project to the transmission system, studies are conducted by the local utility and by the regional electric grid (in the case of South Texas, the regional grid is called the “Electric Reliability Council of Texas”) to determine if the wind or solar project can cleanly “plug in” to the high-voltage transmission system. Electric grid access involves the studying of the project interconnecting to the Texas electric grid and those studies determine what upgrades and new equipment, if any, are required. Once the project interconnection studies are completed, Bordas signs an Interconnection Agreement with the local utility in order to move forward with its wind or solar project.
The construction for both wind and solar projects is generally about six to nine months in duration, depending upon the project size and the way its laid out. The construction normally involves roadwork, grading, underground cabling, foundation setting, equipment erection, and electrical testing/commissioning. After construction, any surrounding property that may have been disturbed is restored to its pre-construction state. Again, this gives our landowners peace of mind knowing that their property matters to us well beyond any given project. This is why we have built long-term relationships in South Texas and will continue to do so.
Once the project is fully constructed and tested, it is ready to deliver power to the electric grid for a term that typically lasts anywhere from thirty to fifty years. Both wind and solar projects can be operated by a relatively small operations and maintenance staff (in the case of a wind project, for instance, only about 1 technician is needed for every 12 – 15 wind turbines) and so there is very little traffic and impact to a landowner’s property during the operations phase.