Electric utilities in Central Texas announce big plans for new solar power generation
Posted in Industry News by Alba Energy
December is shaping up to be a big month for solar power in Central Texas, as municipal and local power providers in the region have made announcements about the increasing amount of clean energy they will be responsible for.
GVEC Now Offering Community Solar
First there was the unveiling of Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative’s first utility-scale solar power project, a 2 megawatt (MW) project spanning 16-acres near Seguin. GVEC is offering the new solar farm to its members under a community solar model where local electricity users can purchase output from the solar power plant in blocks of 100 kilowatt-hours.
*All above images credited to San Antonio Business Journal
Community solar projects like this one allow non-homeowners such as apartment renters to purchase locally generated renewable energy. GVEC’s new 16-acre SunHub Generation Station uses 6,500 solar panels and is capable of of generating up to 400 million kilowatts-hours of solar electricity per year.
Solar Sports Complex Coming To East Austin
Next there was the announcement of a new solar powered sports stadium in Austin. Called East Austin District, the 1.3 million-square-foot project includes a 40,000-seat stadium next to a 15,000-seat multi-purpose arena, complete with a cool modern design incorporating red solar panels into the roof.
The complex is scheduled to be the new home of Rodeo Austin, with additional plans for large-scale soccer and rugby matches, music festivals, and cultural events.
PEC Announces 5 Community Solar Farms
Soon thereafter an announcement by Pedernales Electric Cooperative was made about the 5 community solar farms they have in the works.
The Johnson City-based utility will harness the sun’s clean, unlimited energy resource with more than 105,000 solar panels used on these projects.
These projects are creating a basket of benefits for us. These panels will be producing power during peak demand times, so they will help us avoid peak pricing on the statewide grid.”PEC VP of Power Supply & Energy Services Ingmar Sterzing
Austin Energy Commits To 51% Renewable Energy
And just last week a new solar agreement was approved by the Austin City Council that will see the city using 51% renewable energy by 2020 through a combo of wind and solar power.
Austin Energy currently produces enough renewable power to meet 40% of its 475,000 customers’ power needs. On Aug. 17, 2017, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2027.
The updated plan includes a goal of achieving 65 percent renewable energy use by 2027. As a part of that renewable goal, installed solar capacity would increase to at least 950 MWs by 2025.
A Shift To Solar Power
The above news emphasizes a transition happening across Texas, diversifying a state historically known for oil & gas. The solar shift is happening nationwide because generating electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind is cleaner from an environmental standpoint, and is also more affordable financially based on current market prices and future price expectations.
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