Shakes Solar, located in Carrizo Springs, Dimmit County, Texas USA, is the largest solar facility PCL has constructed in the U.S. Owned and operated by Cypress Renewables, Shakes can generate 270-megawatts direct current (“MWdc”) sent through a 138-kilovolt transmission line to a substation more than 16 miles away. From the substation, the energy is then used to power 36,000 homes in south Texas.

Shakes Solar is a commercial-scale, ground-mounted solar system that uses First Solar Modules Series 4 and Series 6 coupled with tracker technology. The power generated is consolidated in the substation located in the southwest portion of the property and distributed through a 138kV transmission line to the Asherton Substation. 

PCL Solar worked with a manufacturer to develop pre-kitted combiner box assemblies with weather heads and pre-terminated and pre-cut length DC cable. Through collaboration and innovative solutions, this method provided financial savings of 72% and reduced installation time to one-third.

The team at Shakes also pioneered the use of trenchless cable installation. The large size of the project and the tight schedule would not allow the traditional trenching method for installation of Medium Voltage AC, which involves the excavation of large trenches that are kept open until all the cables (MVAC, fiber and ground) are laid. They are then backfilled and compacted, which takes time, labor and equipment hours. 

The trenchless approach consisted of specialized equipment capable of consistently installing cables, ground wire and burial tape at design depths, all while backfilling simultaneously. This method was safer than using open trenches, took half the time of the traditional method and resulted in budget savings of 70%.

Shakes Solar is just one example of PCL’s innovative team of experts at work to deliver exceptional results for our clients. 

Constructed by