Energy companies are beginning to put Texas’ vast amount of sunshine to use. Having the largest utility scale solar project in the state is something to brag about. Texas likes things big and Austin Energy’s 30MW solar farm fits that the bill while also providing clean energy to thousands of homes.
Austin Energy will be able to power 5,000 ordinary homes per year or 136,000 over the span of its 25 year solar power purchase agreement. The company will be purchasing 1.4 billion kilowatts of energy over the life of the agreement which will offset 1.6 billion pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere. This solar facility is part of Austin Energy’s goal to produce 35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The the 380 acre photovoltaic solar farm is located in the Village of Webberville, Texas. The solar farm contains more than 127,000 photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis trackers. The trackers allow the solar modules to follow the suns motion maintaining optimal solar collection. The facility should be able to produce 61 million kilowatt-hours of energy within the first year.
The 25 year power purchase agreement allows Austin Energy to purchase electricity from the facility at a set rate. It will also allow the company to purchase renewable energy credits.
For now at least Austin Energy has the largest solar farm in Texas but that may change within the next year or two. According to Chron.com the first solar farm in Texas opened in November of 2010 in San Antonio Texas. RRE Austin Solar has planned a 60 MW solar farm near Pflugerville, Texas that would double the amount of electricity produced by the solar farm in the Village of Webberville. Several other solar plants are planned over the next few years.
As the latest Geico commercial says,” Asking a Texan if they want big savings on car insurance is like asking if they like big hats or big steaks or big hair.” The answer is, of course, yes. Next time Geico decides to use Texas as such an example, it can now add “big solar farms” to that list of big items Texans enjoy.Tags: Austin Energy, solar farm, solar power, Texas