Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), announced that its 200-megawatt alternating current (MWac) Holstein Solar project in Nolan County, Texas, has begun commercial operation. It is the largest solar project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet.
“Texas is one of the fastest growing solar energy markets in the country. Holstein Solar supports the state’s growth and is a great addition to our growing Texas solar energy portfolio,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “We’re pleased to support the state’s expanding renewable energy industry by providing low-cost, clean energy resources to meet the growing needs of Texans.”
Duke Energy Renewables acquired the project from 8minute Solar Energy, a leading developer of utility-scale solar projects. 8minute Solar Energy led the development of the project and brought the EPC, operation and maintenance (O&M), hedge, tax equity and debt counterparties to the project.
“We are changing the energy game in Texas. Holstein proves that in Texas, where cost is the top consideration, solar is a smart and reliable choice,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO of 8minute Solar Energy. “We are proud to partner with Duke Energy Renewables on large-scale solar projects that now fulfill the promise of a future where energy is clean, abundant and affordable for all.”
The Holstein Solar project is among four Duke Energy Renewables solar generation facilities in Texas. The 100-MWac Lapetus Solar project in Andrews County went into commercial operation in January 2020. Duke Energy Renewables is also working to complete construction of its 200-MWac Rambler Solar project in Tom Green County, which is slated to be in commercial operation by mid-2020. The addition of these projects will bring Duke Energy Renewables’ total Texas solar energy portfolio to 514 MWac.
The 200-MWac Holstein Solar project contains over 709,000 solar panels across approximately 1,300 acres in Wingate, Texas. The facility will power the equivalent of 40,000 homes.
The project employed up to 400 workers during peak construction.
Much of the energy generated from the Holstein Solar project will be sold through a 12-year term hedge agreement to J. Aron & Company LLC, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. This is the first Duke Energy Renewables solar project to utilize a hedge agreement.
The facility’s design, procurement of inverters, balance of plant systems and construction of the project were performed by Blattner Energy. First Solar Energy Services will provide O&M services for the project under a five-year agreement.
As one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers, Duke Energy currently owns, operates and contracts more than 8,000 MW of capacity and plans to double that by 2025.