Construction Underway on the Largest Solar Plant in Texas

Construction Underway on Largest Solar Plant in Texas
(Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn, Flickr Creative Commons)

Enel Green Power North America reports starting construction on the 497-MW Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County, Texas. The Enel Group’s US renewable subsidiary says that when completed, it will be the largest solar project in the state — and in their US portfolio.

Roadrunner is set to go into operation in two phases, according to EGPNA. Around 252 MW are expected to be completed by the end of this year for the first phase. Then the remaining 245 MW should be running by the end of 2020.

“Once fully operational, the solar plant will be able to generate approximately 1.2 TWh annually, while avoiding the emission of over 800,000 million tons of CO2 per year,” EGPNA announced.

Elsewhere in Texas, EGPNA operates the 63-MW Snyder wind farm in Scurry County. Construction on their 450-MW High Lonesome wind project, which has a portion located in Upton County, started in January 2019.

Georgios Papadimitriou, head of Enel Green Power North America, called the new solar plant a major milestone for the company’s operations in the US renewable market. Enel has already begun construction on projects this year for about 1 GW. “The US market is rich with opportunities for growth and has an increasing appetite for sustainable electricity,” he said.

PV Magazine’s Tim Sylvia wrote that pitching the plant as the largest solar plant in Texas, while accurate, sells the project short. “The truth is this is among the largest projects in the nation known to PV Magazine, exceeded only by the 550-MW Topaz project in California.”

Citing a report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Silvia added that the state has a massive 43.5 GWac (gigawatt alternating current) of solar project applications in its interconnection queue.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.

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