The Texas solar energy space is gaining momentumApril 27, 2016
Texas may become one of the largest solar power markets in the US
Texas is home to the largest wind energy market in the United States, but it may also become a promising home for solar energy projects. The Texas solar energy space has been growing quickly in recent years, but has not managed to keep pace with wind power and some other forms of conventional energy. Now, solar developers in the state are petitioning for more support in order to ensure that the market experiences healthy growth in the coming years.
Alamo 6 project provides the state with new economic opportunities
The Alamo 6 Solar project, currently under development in the Trans-Pecos region, has the potential to become the world’s largest solar farm. The project is providing more than 400 construction jobs, many of which have been taken up by those that used to work in oil fields. Project manager Billy Chapman notes that Alamo 6 will cover 1,250 acres of land and will initially be able to generate 110 megawatts of electrical power, making it the largest solar farm in Texas. Alamo 6 is located near the Pearl Solar Plant, which began construction in January of this year. This project currently employs some 290 workers.
Desert location allows solar projects to collect more solar power at night
Both of these projects are expected to reach completion and begin generating electricity in October of this year. The projects are taking advantage of the abundant sunlight in the Chihuahuan Desert, which is the second largest desert in the United States. According to Chapman, the desert has relatively few cloudy days, experiencing more than 90% of its days with uninhibited sunlight. Chapman notes that the desert is also ideal for solar farms as it will allow them to collect solar power at night. Being away from city lights allows the solar modules being used by these projects to collect 12% more energy from light being reflected by the moon.
Texas is growing more supportive of solar power
While wind energy may be one of Texas’ favorite forms of renewable power, solar may soon catch up. The Texas solar energy space is beginning to attract more support, thanks to ambitious and promising projects like Alamo 6. As more attention is brought to the state’s solar potential, more developers are expected to bring their projects to Texas, which may lead to a shift in support, with the state showing more favor for solar power in the coming years.