Texas Milestone – First merchant solar power plant

Texas — and solar — recently passed a new milestone: America’s first merchant solar plant.  Or something close to it, anyway.

Texas flag

Luminant signed a power purchase agreement to buy the output of a 116 MW solar plant developed by SunEdison.  Luminant will sell the power into the state’s competitive wholesale market.  While terms were not disclosed, the economics of such a transaction suggest prices under 4 cents/kWh, which is consistent with other recent solar deals in the state (Austin Energy recently received almost 1,300 MW of bids for solar under 4 cents/kWh).

It’s worth noting that Luminant is the largest power generator in Texas, and currently 70% coal.

There’s a lot more solar under development in Texas.  ERCOT’s  interconnection queue currently has almost 10 GW of PV.  Not all will result in developed projects, but it’s a great indication of the high volume of interest and activity.

Welcome to the mainstream, solar.

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