(ATF) A Samsung unit plans to build solar power plants worth $673 million in the US state of Texas, aiming to sell the electricity it generates starting in 2023, according to reports.
The South Korean company, part of Samsung C&T, would locate the plants near Austin, where Samsung Electronics has a chip factory and is considering building another at a cost of $17 billion.
Construction of the solar plants would begin in June 2022 and will result in a combined capacity of about 700 megawatts, Reuters reported.
Samsung Renewable Energy is "proceeding with approval procedures with the state", the company told Reuters.
The appeal of solar and wind power is growing quickly as countries worldwide transition from fossil fuels to cleaner renewable sources of power to help slow global warming. US President Joe Biden's administration wants all of the country's power to come from non-carbon-emitting sources such as nuclear and renewable energy by 2035.
FIRST WIND, NOW SUN
Texas, already the state with the most wind energy capacity, is catching up to California in solar capacity, recent data show. California currently has the most installed solar capacity of any state, the US Energy Information Agency said.
But according to survey reports, Texas will add 10 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2022, compared with 3.2 GW in California. One-third of the solar capacity planned to come online in the US in the next two years will be in Texas.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday pledged to end new financing for overseas coal projects and said he would soon set an ambitious schedule for slashing carbon emissions. Samsung C&T in October said it would halt new coal-related investments and projects.
Chipmakers have pledged to boost the use of renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprints. Semiconductor manufacturing requires large amounts of energy as well as water, gases and chemicals.
Samsung Electronics and other chipmakers earlier this year suffered production suspensions due to a power crisis in Texas brought about by a winter storm.
With reporting by Reuters