Saturday, January 7, 2012

Largest Solar Plant in Texas Goes Online

A 30 Megawatt (MW) solar power plant has gone online in Webberville, Texas, making it the largest solar plant to date in the Lone Star State. The new solar plant is the first utility-scale solar deployment for Austin Energy. Austin Energy is the nation's ninth largest community-owned electric utility.

The 30 MW solar project is comprised of more than 127,000 photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis trackers that follow the sun to maximize solar energy production. It is expected to produce more than 61 million kilowatt-hours of clean solar energy in the first year of operation alone. It will also help Austin Energy achieve its ambitious goal of a 35% renewable energy mix by 2020.

Under a 25-year solar power purchase agreement, Austin Energy will purchase the energy at a fixed rate along with the renewable energy credits. It is expected the 30 MW solar project will generate more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy over 25 years. That is enough clean energy to offset more than 1.6 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.

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