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Joe Deely's picture
Partner, Deely Group

Involved with high-tech for last 30 years. Interested in energy.

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  • Nov 18, 2020
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They do things big in Texas.   This project accelerates a solar boom that is already occurring. Next year, TX will leapfrog NC,AZ and FL and move into second place behind CA in solar generation. By 2030 - TX could be the No 1 state in US for solar.

Invenergy, a leading privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, today announced a 1,310-megawatt solar energy generation facility that will be the largest in the United States upon completion. Currently under construction in northeast Texas, the Samson Solar Energy Center will support the sustainability objectives of five major consumer brands and supply power to three Texas municipalities.

Samson Solar is one of many Invenergy developments that is powering daily American life, and will also provide more Texans with cleaner, cost-effective power through agreements with:

  • AT&T: 500 MW 
  • Honda: 200 MW 
  • McDonald's: 160 MW 
  • Google: 100 MW 
  • The Home Depot: 50 MW 
  • City of Bryan, TX: 150 MW 
  • City of Denton, TX: 75 MW 
  • City of Garland, TX: 25 MW

Samson Solar will be constructed in five phases over the next three years, with each phase commencing operation upon completion. The full project is slated to be operational in 2023

2020 is the first year where wind generation will surpass coal generation on the ERCOT grid. With solar also now starting to grow rapidly - coal will easily be replaced in TX before 2030.  Solar during the day and wind in late afternoon and night are a deadly combination for coal in TX.  Next up, replacing NG generation.

                    

Source:

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 19, 2020

Next year, TX will leapfrog NC,AZ and FL and move into second place behind CA in solar generation. By 2030 - TX could be the No 1 state in US for solar.

Seems like this should be long overdue, given the size and geography of Texas. I'd be curious at looking at solar generation per capita as a measure as well-- or perhaps per square mile. I think both of those would be illuminating as to how much a state is embracing the solar opportunity given their relative size and resources. 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 19, 2020

Good point Matt - here is another view - showing where solar fits in among ZC fuels on ERCOT grid.

Things will get much more interesting when solar approachs/passes the fuel share for coal on the ERCOT grid - coal will come in at about 17.5% this year.

 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 20, 2020

That's an important piece as well, thanks for the table. Do you see there being market/regulatory reasons to expect to see a pivot to more dramatic solar capacity increases in the coming years rather than the more gradual changes that solar has shown in these five years? On a percentage basis going from 0.1% to 2.3% I suppose is a large jump of ~23x over those years, but can we expect a near- to medium-term outlook where solar really starts to catch the even more impressive growth of wind? 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 20, 2020

Matt,

Here is link to ERCOT spreadsheet showing solar, wind, storage and NG projects that are due to come online for ERCOT over the next couple of years. Solar will double again.

Note: Coal generation on ERCOT grid drops in the evening as demand eases and wind generation ramps up. This means that coal plants are dependent upon daytime generation to "pay the bills". Solar is gonna kill remaining coal quickly.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 20, 2020

You know solar energy is on the ropes when advocates start touting 160 MW of PV panels on McDonald's restaurants as an  accomplishment.

Generation, Joe, is all that matters. And generation from all the solar in Texas is represented by the limp green line snaking along the southern border of the graph below:

"Next up, replacing NG generation...."

Replacing? "NG" is eating solar's lunch. Worse - solar is like steroids for natural gas - together they're a powerhouse, driving carbon emissions upward.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Nov 20, 2020

You know solar energy is on the ropes when advocates start touting 160 MW of PV panels on McDonald's restaurants as an  accomplishment.

Does this mean you also think that AT&T is installing 500MW of solar on the rooftops of their stores? 

Wind/solar are now replacing fossil fuel share in TX by 2-3% per year.   This could easily speed up over the next 5 years to 3-4%/year.  Coal has 17.5% share left in TX.  Do the math Bob - its pretty simple. Once coal is gone - wind/solar start to eat into NG share.

Worse - solar is like steroids for natural gas - together they're a powerhouse, driving carbon emissions upward.

A perfect statement for our times... opposite of what is actually happening with zero facts to back it up. You should do a press conference.

In the real world, CO2 is dropping like a rock across the US.

Joe Deely's picture
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