An almost 500 MW (497 MW) solar panel project is about to begin construction in Texas.
The project is owned by Enel Green Power North America (A subsidiary of Enel Green Power, based in Italy). They have named this project “Roadrunner.” There’s only three solar installations that are slightly larger than this one and they are all in California.
Approximately half of the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, and the other half by the end of the 2020. By industry standards, this is a very aggressive timeline.
As amazing as the news of this single project is, it is only the tip of the solar iceberg in Texas. There currently is an astounding 43 GW of solar capacity in the interconnection queue. About 1.2 GW are expected to come online by the end of the year. This would be the first time that more than a gigawatt of solar capacity was installed in Texas in a single year.
The company states that, once completed, the project will be able to generate 1.2 TWh of electricity annually and offset approximately 800,000 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Some may say that this, on the surface, seems a bit ironic or unexpected in a state that has been known as a significant producer of fossil fuels for many decades. The big picture is that the energy industry follows the same business rules as any other. If there’s a way to reduce costs, then that path is almost always followed. So the bottom line and the big statement that is being made here is that solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuels, even in the Lonestar State.
So, unfortunately, the upcoming massive adoption of solar power in Texas and across the country is not due to vitally important environmental reasons. On the other hand, it’s simply good business in terms of lowering costs and achieving long term savings.
Whatever the reasons, it is ultimately a great thing that major power corporations are beginning to invest heavily into solar power!