Texas’ ‘largest’ utility-scale solar facility now online


The East Pecos solar facility makes Southern Power the owner of one of the largest utility-scale solar portfolios in the state. Source: Flickr/Tom Sales

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power has commissioned a 120MW solar facility in Texas.

The East Pecos solar facility consists of three separate solar projects all owned by Southern Power, making the utility the owner of one of the largest utility-scale solar portfolios in the state.

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“The East Pecos Solar Facility joins our growing renewable fleet in Texas, and we look forward to operating it for the benefit of our customers,” said Southern Power president and CEO Buzz Miller. “By providing clean, affordable, wholesale generation, we are able to deliver on our promise to help build the future of energy.”

Electricity produced by the facility will be sold to Austin Energy under a 15-year PPA, together with the associated renewable energy credits (RECs).

“Austin Energy was an early adopter of West Texas wind power and is pleased to take delivery of the power generated by the East Pecos Solar Facility,” said Austin Energy general manager Jackie Sargent. “We currently supply more than 30% of our customers' needs from renewable power and are well on our way to our target of 55% supply by 2025.”

The mammoth project spans more than 400 hectares in Pecos County and consists of around 1.2 million First Solar thin-film PV modules, with the company also being responsible for the construction of the project, which began in February 2016.  

Last year, Texas was forecast to become the fastest-growing utility-scale solar market in the US according to various reports; with GTM Research anticipating that over the next five years Texas will install more than 4,600MW of solar – with 4,000MW of that being utility-scale. 

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