8minute Solar Energy completes Texas debut with 280MW Duke collaboration

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The Holstein solar project in Texas during construction. Image: 8minute Solar Energy.

Solar and storage developer 8minute Solar Energy has completed its first utility-scale solar project in Texas.

8minute confirmed the 280MWdc/200MWdc Holstein solar farm, built alongside Duke Energy Renewables, has now begun operations.

The Holstein solar project comprises more than 700,000 solar panels and marks a “significant milestone” for 8minute, the company said, as it continues to build on its solar footprint outside of its home state of California.

Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO of 8minute, said the company was bringing its solar and storage development expertise to “forge a new energy model in Texas”.

“In a state with no solar mandate, and where competition is purely on price, our success with Holstein and our other Texas projects are proof positive that solar will power the future,” he added.

8minute has made a name for itself in the US market for competing with traditional power sources on price. Its landmark Eland solar-plus-storage farm struck a 25-year deal with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at record-breaking tariffs. It has since taken its development pipeline to 18GW and set about replicating the success of Eland elsewhere in the country. Last month, 8minute told sister publication Energy-Storage.news that the “vast majority” of its pipeline in the US would be built with co-located storage.

8minute currently has a further four projects in late stages of development in the Lone Star state, representative of nearly 1GW of capacity. Together they are expected to generate around US$1 billion in capital investments, while also delivering US$60 million in land payments and US$120 million in local tax revenues.

Duke Energy’s Renewables subsidiary acquired the project from 8minute in July of last year, with 8minute staying on to oversee its development through to operation. A majority of the energy generated from the project is to be sold to Goldman Sachs subsidiary J. Aron & Company through a 12-year term hedge agreement.

Project design, inverter procurement, construction and balance of systems works were conducted by Blattner Energy, and First Solar Energy Services has been signed to provide O&M services under a five-year term.

SunTrust provided the tax equity investment for the project, while CIT Group led a consortium of banks to provide a construction loan, letter of credit and term loan facility for Holstein.

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