Across the United States, more than three dozen solar projects with a rated capacity of at least 100 MW are expected to come on stream in 2021. The Texas oil field is set to host the largest of them.
Of pv magazine United States
The Texas Oil Patch is home to what could be the largest solar installation to be added in 2021.
The 420 MW Permian Energy Center is under construction and is expected to be delivered in mid-2021, according to data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. The figures include projects of at least 1 MW.
Across the country, more than three dozen solar projects with a nominal capacity of at least 100 MW are either under construction or have received the regulatory green light and are expected to enter service in the course of 2021.
Orsted is developing the largest of these on 3,600 acres in Andrews County, Texas. The site is located northwest of Midland and is at the heart of the Permian Basin oil and natural gas field in West Texas. The Permian solar power plant will include more than 1.3 million photovoltaic panels as well as a one-hour 40 MW battery energy storage system. The solar modules are supplied by Jinko Solar and JA Solar.
According to FERC data, two 300 MW solar projects in Ohio and Wisconsin are the next largest facilities expected to come on stream next year. Hecate Energy Highland is under development in Highland County, Ohio, east of Cincinnati. Hecate Energy is a Chicago-based solar and energy storage developer. The 300 MW plant has received regulatory approvals, as well as a power purchase agreement, and is expected to enter service in December 2021.
Badger Hollow Solar Farm is developed by Chicago-based Invenergy and is located in Iowa County, Wisconsin, west of the state capital, Madison. Work is underway and this facility is also expected to enter service in December 2021.
More than 9.7 GW of solar capacity is expected to be completed in 2021, according to data from FERC. About a third of this capacity is located in Texas. The 15 state projects have an average size of 195 MW. In total, the database has over 180 projects nationwide with a completion date of 2021. Their average nominal capacity is just under 54 MW.
The figures also show that just over 6 GW of solar capacity is expected to come on stream by the end of this year. The more than 300 projects have an average nominal capacity of just under 20 MW.
By 2021, electric utilities are developing or building just over 1 GW of solar capacity. The most important of these is the 139 MW Robins Air Force Base solar project, developed by Georgia Power near Macon. The $ 200 million project was approved by state regulators in May 2017 as the sixth large-scale solar project undertaken by the utility on behalf of the U.S. military. The Robins AFB facility is the largest solar project to be built by Georgia Power to date and is expected to come on stream in March.
Further south, Florida Power & Light has six 74.5 MW solar projects that are expected to go into service in Sunshine State next April. FERC lists projects like Rodeo Solar Center, Orange Blossom Solar Center, Palm Bay Solar, Pelican Solar Center, Discovery Solar Center, and Sabal Palm Solar Center.
Duke Energy Florida is developing a handful of solar projects with a total capacity of nearly 300 MW; expected completion dates vary through 2021. And Tampa Electric is developing the Durrance Solar Project in Polk County, Fla. Durrance is Tampa Electric’s fourth phase of solar expansion and is part of an effort that brought nine projects and more than 572 MW online between 2018 and 2020. The final phase of Durrance is expected to end in January.
By 2023, Tampa Electric will have invested more than $ 1.8 billion in 1,255 MW of solar projects. When these projects are all online, about 14% of the utility’s energy will be produced by solar power.
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