The Impossible Made Possible - First Solar Farm In Delta County
In a pasture filled with milk weeds and wild flowers something even more green lines the landscape of the farm on Farm-to-Market 71. The inauguration of the Delta Oasis Inc. was held on Thursday, June 29, 2017 – a dream of Suzanne and Yogi Patel.
“They helped make our impossible dream possible,” said Suzanne Patel standing before a large welcoming crowd on the 1 Solar Solution company. “God works in mysterious ways. Last fall we started thinking solar. I wanted a solar farm but I had no idea how I was going to get one – not a clue. God hears our prayers.” She offered a prayer dedicating this field and this project.
“Solar power has always been on my mind, it just hasn’t been cost effective until now,” added landowner Yogi Patel. He compared his part to that of a landowner leasing land for cattle plus it has tax benefits. “It is a beginning, a new frontier, a first step.”
Ali Samana, a Partner in 1 Solar Solution, expressed his appreciation to leadership at Farmers Electric for helping move this from idea to reality. He firmly stands behind his company’s motto, “Because going green matters.”
“Not a lot of electric companies have the vision or the foresight to understand this is the future,” said Ali Samana. “This is almost five acres and 3,500 panels. I don’t know about you? But I think it is beautiful.”
He stated there were 33 inverters, which will produce 1.5 million kilowatts per year as long as the sun keeps shining (enough to power 60-75 houses per year). This installation took 90 days contending against some rain, normally it is a six-week project.
It all started with a vision over coffee. Now 1 Solar Solution, a young three-year old company, is the largest solar installer in DFW by volume.
“This is exciting. We have a great team surrounding us,” said Samana as he thanked the officials and media present. “This would not be possible if it were not for Yogi and Suzanne [Patel] allowing us to be on their property. Thank you all for the outpouring of support… This is one of many. We are going to keep doing this – we liked the sleepless nights and two-hour drive.”
Hemal Doshi, also a Partner in 1 Solar Solution, offered up a prayer to the Sun God.
“Bringing us to a point where we can use the sun in the most efficient way,” said Hemal Doshi.
“Today we see the dawn of a new age,” said Mark Stubbs with Farmers Electric. “It hasn’t started here today but it certainly has for us. Solar power is now huge in Texas. It just barely a dot on the landscape now if you go west you see more and more. It seems to be great for the planet and the pocketbook. This is a community-serving project. We are looking forward to working with them on this project. Thank you for this awesome opportunity.”
“This marks what is so special about this part of Texas,” said Dr. Ray Keck, President of Texas A&M University in Commerce, with pride. “As you know we are an old institution … yet at the same time we are very much on the edge of education and technology to change our lives. The word sustainability has become one of the most important words in our language. Quite appropriately we know the way we have always done things will not be adequate. To harness the sun’s light, is this any different than harnessing the power of water or wind to make a better life for us all. Thank you for bringing this to us. We will all live longer, we will all live better, and we will all live happier lives. …It is an honor for all of us and an honor for the University and a moment for us to reflect on how nice it is to live in the United States of America.”
Commerce City Manager also looks forward into a new chapter this solar farm offers. Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams proclaimed June 29, 2017 as 1 Solar Solution Day, applauded their investment in the community, and offered wishes on many years of success.
“We need people that will come out and invest in our future – we know this our future. This is a viable part of Texas. I’m excited to see this come. It has our interest over in Cooper,” said Cooper Mayor Darren Braddy as he expressed thanks has hopes for expansion.
With a flip of seven switches each of the officials along with 1 Solar Solution Samana and Doshi made history officially turning on the panels leading to fireworks.
According to their website: In simple terms, solar panels contain vast arrays of photovoltaic (PV) cells made of thin silicon wafers that convert sunlight into electricity by capturing light photons. Specifically treated semi-conductor cells (PV or solar cells) with positive and negative faces direct electrons released by photons to create an electrical current.
A guided tour was given by 1 Solar Solution Operations Manager Billy Maas in a bus provided by TAMU-C.
“One of the beautiful things is we didn’t have to penetrate the land,” said Billy Maas. “It is all environmentally-friendly.” They used over a million pounds of concrete in pots to secure the panels so if need be they can be shifted from the southwest facing direction on the 236 FM 71 location. It is pointed this direction to take the load off the power grid (from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.). The racking is also constructed with a flexible design to work with the landscape.
Patel suggests contacting 1 Solar Solution. Find more on their website 1SolarSolution.com.
“We are always going to need power,” said Patel with hopes to channel this for more future projects for Delta County. He is looking forward to working with other entities such as the County, City, School, EDC and Chamber.
Watch the tour provided of Delta Oasis Inc. solar farm: