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Recurrent Energy is to build 150MW of grid-competitive solar in Texas.
The company has arranged a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Austin Energy. It will feed into the unregulated Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid, which supplies 75% of the state.
“With our largest utility-scale solar award, we are taking an important step towards meeting our goal of acquiring 200MW of solar energy by 2020,” said Larry Weis, general manager, Austin Energy. “Solar power has reached a price that is competitive in the ERCOT market, allowing us to further diversify our energy portfolio with renewable resources,” he added.
The project is largest built or planned in the state of Texas and is expected to be completed in 2016.
“The Texas market represents one of the most exciting opportunities for the solar industry,” said Arno Harris, chairman and CEO, Recurrent Energy. “The industry’s growing scale and decreasing costs are enabling us to successfully compete against conventional energy in deregulated markets like ERCOT. This award from Austin Energy further proves solar’s ability to move into the mainstream energy mix.”
Texas has historically made modest contributions to the installed PV capacity in the US. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) expects an increase in solar generation in Texas as older fossil fuel generation is phased out in order to meet tighter environmental requirements. According to the SEIA, there is enough solar potential in Texas to power the world twice over.