The Queen of Texas solar

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If you’re a reader of pv magazine – a consistent reader – and you willingly clicked on an article with Texas in the headline, you probably know what you’re about to read. The Texas solar market has become the most dynamic and aggressive new market in the entire country, save for maybe Florida, and is redefining what it big means in this industry with big contracts, big battery project and especially big solar installations.

However, as the reality of development goes, most of those massive projects are in the fetal stage, being reported on when they’re announced, have land secured or break ground. Today, however, massive capacity has become a reality just West of Odessa, as Innergex Renewable Energy has completed the company’s 250 MWac/315 MWdc Phoebe solar farm.

Project documents don’t seem to point towards any evidence of the Phoebe project having a crown installed on-site, but there should be, as the installation now holds the distinction of being the largest completed solar project in Texas.

And if you want to take a look at Texas’ solar queen, check out this super cool video.

What we do know about the installation is that it includes 768,000 First Solar Series 6 thin film photovoltaic solar panels, as well as a fiver-year contract with First Solar for operations and maintenance. The project also utilizes Nextracker NX Horizon Horizontal single-axis balanced-mass trackers and Power Electronics, model HEM 3000 inverters.

Phoebe is also the largest solar project in Innergex’s American portfolio, though that revelation is neither surprising, nor that tightly contested.

SEIA notes in its Texas profile, that the Lone Star State is currently the 6th state overall in terms of capacity installed, but was 2nd for the total capacity installed in 2018. Looking toward the future and confirming those crazy development claims we make, SEIA projects the state to take 2nd place over the next five years as it installs over 9.1 GW of solar.

Before that minuscule 2019 portion of the bar graph brings you down, just remember that it does not yet include Phoebe’s capacity.

Not only is Phoebe larger than anything seen in The Republic, but it currently represents 8% 0f all solar generation capacity in Texas. This is impressive especially when you consider scope. We’ve talked ad nauseam about projects that represent X% of a state’s total installed solar capacity. Usually those projects are ∼150 MW in a state that has less than 300 MW in total installed capacity. However, given the context that Texas is already a sizable market, one project representing 8% of that market is more than noteworthy.

And now the clock starts anew. Right now the crown of largest solar project in Texas is held by Phoebe, but it is a coveted and dynamic crown and it wont be long until another project comes for it – maybe Ross, Chandler or Monica.