Lone Star State Going Solar!

The current population of the state of Texas is estimated to be 29.10 million people. In November 2018, state utilities used natural gas (45.2%), coal (26.6%), renewable energy (18.70%) and nuclear (9.5%) to generate electricity. Texas leads the nation in wind-powered electricity generation and the utilities are now pushing forward with new solar parks.

Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) has announced that construction has started on the Roadrunner solar park in West Texas. The 497 MW solar park will be located in Upton County. EGPNA manages and develops renewable energy projects and is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts. EGPNA is a subsidiary of the Enel Group, a multinational energy company that is headquartered in Rome, Italy.

Roadrunner will be developed into two phases. The first phase will have a capacity of 252 MW and is forecast to be completed by year end 2019. The second phase will have a capacity of 245 MW and is forecast to be completed by year end 2020. Roadrunner will become the largest solar park in Texas once it is completed. Once completed, the solar park will generate approximately 1.2 TWh annually, eliminating over 800,000 million tons CO2 per year.

Texas is the most deregulated state for electricity and natural gas in America. The deregulation fosters intense competition among numerous utility companies. The move from fossil fuels, especially coal to renewable energy is being driven by economics. Onshore wind, solar and hydropower are a cheaper form of electricity than any fossil fuel. The cost to generate electricity from coal is now double the cost of onshore wind. Economics are driving the development of major wind farms and solar parks across Texas.

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