Everything is bigger in Texas, including the hats and the solar projects. And yesterday, the final significant hurdle between a power point and a power plant was cleared for Texas’ largest solar project. 7X Energy has announced the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the remainder of its 690 MWdc/510 MWac Taygete Solar Project. The project will be built in Pecos County, highlighted below.
With the land secured, interconnection in place and buyers of the power on board, it’s construction time for the behemoth. Phase 1 of the project is anticipated to break ground in the third quarter of this year and be completed by the first quarter of 2021, while Phase 2 is scheduled to begin construction in first quarter of 2020 and become operational in Q2 of 2021. The two phases are nearly identical in capacity, with Phase 1 coming in at 254 MWac and Phase 2 following with 256 MWac. The project is expected to create 500 jobs during that construction timeframe.
This PPA comes shortly after the first one was announced in late February. The project is set to be interconnected to the Pig Creek 138 kv substation.
The project is reported to be the 5th largest in the United States, though that would include projects that are still under development, as Taygete is larger than all but three projects that have been completed in the country, with the remaining giants being the 579 MWac Rosamond, 550 MWac Topaz and 550 MWac Desert Sunlight stations. Taygete does, however, take the thrones of largest in Texas and largest east of the Rockies, unseating Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner solar project, a 497 MWac monster in its own right, currently under construction in Upton County.
7X Energy is no stranger to big-time solar development in the Lone Star State, as the company is also responsible for the 136 MWdc Lapetus project in Andrews County, Texas and collaborated on the 315 MWdc Phoebe project in Winkler County, Texas.
This announcement should silence any doubts, if there are still any, that Texas is becoming the next major solar boom state. As of its March report ERCOT’s interconnection queue had grown to 51 GWac of solar projects. Of that massive figure, 6.4 GW of these projects have interconnection agreements; many plan to complete construction over the next two and a half years.
It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Texas, which recently had its solar interconnection queue surpass that of its wind queue – a significant achievement given that Texas has more wind online than any other state.