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.
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.