Samsung unit considers developing $673 mln solar plants in Texas -documents

An employee walks past a logo of Samsung C&T Corp at the company's headquarters in Seoul
An employee walks past a logo of Samsung C&T Corp at the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Berkeley, CALIFORNIA, April 24 (Reuters) - A unit of Samsung C&T Corp (028260.KS) is considering developing solar power plants worth $673 million in the U.S. state of Texas, aiming to sell the electricity generated starting December 2023, documents reviewed by Reuters showed.

The plants will be located in Milam county, the documents showed, less than two hours' drive from Austin where affiliate Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) has a chip factory and is considering building another at a cost of $17 billion.

Construction of the solar plants will begin in June 2022 and will result in a combined capacity of about 700 megawatts, the documents showed.

A Samsung C&T official told Reuters that Samsung Renewable Energy is "proceeding with approval procedures with the state".

There are no current discussions with Samsung Electronics about the project, for which Samsung C&T aims to attract investment, said the official.

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.

U.S. 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.

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 such as Samsung Electronics, Intel Corp (INTC.O) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330.TW) have pledged to boost the use of renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprints.

Chip manufacturing, which requires large amounts of energy as well as gases and chemicals, accounts for most of the carbon output attributable to data centers and mobile phones, showed research by Harvard University, Arizona State University and Facebook Inc (FB.O).

Samsung Electronics and other chipmakers earlier this year suffered production suspensions due to a power crisis in Texas brought about by a winter storm.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Michael Perry

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