Texas’ self-styled largest solar project nears completion


The Phoebe Solar project. Source: Innergex

Canadian developer Innergex has confirmed that its 315MWAC / 250MDC Texas PV project, set to be the largest in the state, is on track to go live by September.

The Phoebe Solar project in western Texas is being billed as one of largest solar farms in the US. Shell Energy North America has purchased 89% of the project’s energy generation via a 12-year power purchase agreement, with the remaining power earmarked for the merchant market.

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According to a released statement by Innergex on Tuesday, the project will be operational by the close of the third financial quarter. The project’s US$337.7 million construction costs are “in line with budget.” All the modules required for construction have been delivered, inverters have been placed in their final locations, the substation has been constructed and energised and the piles and trackers have been installed.

In a statement, CEO Michel Letellier said that the “significant progress” made at the company’s Texan wind and solar projects was a highlight of the last financial quarter. “These projects will grow our net installed capacity by 30%,” he said.

The company is also developing 250MW of wind capacity in Texas at its Foard City wind project, which is on track to be commissioned before the close on this year.

The Phoebe Solar project’s annual power generation is expected to reach 738,000MWh, or enough to power about 53,000 Texas households, according to Innergex.

Texas is the sixth largest solar producer in the US, according to the the Solar Energies Industry Association. The industry group estimates that the state will install 7,787MW over the next 5 years.

In June this year, Innergex closed the initial tax equity funding operation for the Phoebe Solar project. Wells Fargo Central Pacific Holdings injected approximately US$37.1 million.

The Quebec-based firm acquired the project from utility-scale US solar developer Longroad Energy in July 2018.

Greenbacker backs 9.27MW Oregon solar trio

New York-based investor Greenbacker Renewable Energy has bought the rights to a 9.27MW pre-contracted solar project in Oregon from Irish developer BNRG Renewables.

The OR Solar Project consists of a trio of in-construction ground mounted projects, expected to be commissioned between November 2019 and January 2020.

Greenbacker said the project is already contracted to sell power to “an investment grade Oregon Utility” for 15 years, thanks to a power purchase agreement.

Virginia-based solar installer Evergreen Solar Services will work under BNRG’s supervision to construct the OR Solar Project. British asset manager Javelin Capital advised BNRG on the sale.

BNRG director Nick Holman said in a statement his company was “excited” about the partnership and to grow its Oregon portfolio. “We remain committed to developing projects in the US and are on track to reach our target of 250MW of projects completed by 2021,” he said.

With this new addition, Greenbacker now owns 336MW of utility-scale and distributed solar facilities.

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