The largest project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet is officially on-line, as Duke and 8minute Solar Energy celebrate the completion of the 200 MW Holstein solar project in Nolan County, Texas. The project is also noteworthy for being 8minute’s first completed installation in Texas.
Yet while this was 8minute’s first Texas project, that wont be true for long, as the company has four others in development in the Lone Star State, totaling almost 1 gigawatt in capacity. These projects are late in the development process and are expected to significantly bolster 8minute’s non-California solar portfolio. According to the company, the portfolio is expected to generate roughly $1 billion in capital investment, $60 million in land payments and $120 million in local tax revenues. Outside of just cash generation, the four are also expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and another 2,000 indirect jobs.
The significance of Holstein
As for Holstein, the majority of its generation will be sold to J. Aron & Company, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, through a 12-year term hedge agreement, the first hedge agreement every completed for a Duke Energy Renewables solar project.
Holstein also unseats the 100-MW Lapetus Solar project in Andrews County as Duke Renewables’ largest in Texas, though it is a designation that won’t be held for long, as the company’s 200 MW Rambler Solar project in Tom Green County is set to achieve commercial operation by “mid-2020.” Once that project reaches completion, Duke Renewables’ Texas portfolio will clock in at 514 MW.
Those 514 MW represent a significant portion of the state’s capacity, around 11% of the 4,800 MW that will be on-line when Rambler Solar is completed. These projects have helped Duke to establish a significant foothold in one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the nation, while another massive and rapidly growing market, Florida, is also home to a large portfolio of Duke projects. Texas and Florida are projected by SEIA to be the No. 2 and No.3 states, respectively, in new solar capacity over the next five years.
The Holstein solar project’s design, procurement of inverters, balance of plant systems and construction were performed by Blattner Energy. First Solar Energy Services will provide O&M services for the project under a five-year agreement. During peak construction, the project created roughly 400 jobs.