HISTORIC SOUTH TEXAS RANCH GOES SOLAR
A LOOK AT WHY—AND HOW—MCALLEN RANCH, ONE OF THE OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY OWNED TRACTS OF LAND IN THE UNITED STATES, MADE THE MOVE TO CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY.
In 2016, James A. McAllen began looking into solar energy projects. He had seen a friend install a large solar farm on their ranch and use the lease revenue to offset not only their energy bills but also to conserve other parts of their ranch.
The idea struck a chord with James. He and his family have owned and operated their family ranch since 1791. They see themselves as caretakers of their land; it is their responsibility to maintain its natural beauty while also balancing real world problems.
James called Richard Estrada, founder of Statewide Renewable, LLC, to look for solutions. The initial idea of building a utility-sized solar farm did not make sense at the time due to a lack of off takers for the energy produced. Richard devised a plan to install a smaller system that would offset the McAllen Ranch energy consumption while also proving solar energy to be a reliable investment. This idea was then enhanced by working with the local utility, Magic Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC). MVEC wanted to look at a solar project to help reduce their demand charges. After due diligence, James and his family made a commitment to go solar.Download PDF