400 solar megawatts and 800+ jobs coming to San Antonio
"We're in a hurry. I have to hire many people as soon as possible," said Woo-Jeong Lee. He's the board chair and chief strategy officer with Nexolon. When CPS Energy put pen to paper Monday to approve a 25 year solar power purchase, part of the deal was that South Korean-based Nexolon would establish its new North American corporate headquarters right here in San Antonio.
That process is already underway. Lee says they've been looking at two sites in South San Antonio for a new $100-million high tech manufacturing operation. That will be where they build the solar cells and solar panels to help deliver 400-megawatts of solar energy to San Antonio customers, enough to power 70,000 homes. He expects a choice on the site in the next few weeks, but admits they have other pressing demands as well.
"We need to have an office here in San Antonio," says Lee, noting that they have a whole lot more planned for the city than a manufacturing plant. "It's one complete company."
In exchange for that 25 year agreement to buy solar power capacity, San Antonio expects to see a $700-million annual economic impact and at least 800 good jobs. Lee says they'll need engineers and technicians at the manufacturing plant, but says they'll need professionals in a full range of fields for the headquarters. "It's going to have every general administrative function from HR to sales, accounting, finance and of course manufacturing, R&D, engineering, everything," says Lee.
He suggests they don't have much time to spare in getting those new employees in place. The goal is for the upcoming plant to start producing its first solar cells and panels within the next three years.