Vistra brings online 108MW solar project in Texas

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Vistra is aiming to reach 7.3GW of zero-carbon generation by 2026. Image: Vistra.

US utility Vistra has brought online a 108MW PV plant in Texas as electricity demand in the state reaches new highs.

Featuring 316,416 modules, the Emerald Grove project’s west Texas location allows the panels to take advantage of higher solar irradiance levels, increasing output as demand climbs across the state, according to Vistra.

“Emerald Grove is coming online in time to power Texas through what’s predicted to be a record-breaking summer for energy use,” said Vistra CFO Jim Burke.

Indeed, electricity use in Texas reached an all-time high at the weekend as temperatures soared across the state.

Emerald Grove features First Solar modules – with the manufacturer having signed an 869MW supply deal with Vistra in 2020 – while Mortenson carried out engineering and construction work.

The plant is the third of seven new renewables plants Vistra is bringing online in Texas over the coming years as it aims to reach 7.3GW of zero-carbon generation by 2026.

This year has seen the utility complete the 50MW Brightside Solar Facility and the 260MW/260MWh DeCordova Energy Storage Facility, Texas’s largest battery energy storage system.

While Texas overtook California as the top-ranked state for solar capacity additions for the first time in 2021, it was ranked seventh for solar deployment among US states in Q1 2022, according to figures from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.

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