Texas will become home to Ørsted’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project –the 471-megawatt (MW) Mockingbird Solar Center, the company said on Jan. 13.
Spanning about 4,900 acres in Lamar County, northeast of Dallas, the project is designed to generate enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes per year, the Denmark-headquartered company said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in January and be completed in 2024.
“Adding almost half a gigawatt to our portfolio, the decision to build Mockingbird represents an important milestone for our onshore business and for our expansion in solar PV,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted’s Americas region.
The project will move the company closer toward its goal of hitting 17.5 GW onshore capacity and installing 50 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy globally by year-end 2030. It will also lift Ørsted’s global energy capacity either in operation or under construction for onshore renewables—including solar, storage and wind—to 5.5 GW, the company said. This includes 1.8 GW of solar PV.
Texas has seen a surge in renewable energy projects in recent years as the push to lower emissions by greening the grid picks up speed.
Data from the Solar Energy Industries Association show Texas is projected to add more than 36,000 MW of solar over the next five years. The 16,173 MW of solar installed as of third quarter 2022 is enough to power more than 1.8 million homes. Texas trails only California in solar energy production.
Ørsted has already lined up a purchaser for some of the power to be generated at Mockingbird. In 2021, the company said, it signed a 10-year corporate power purchase agreement with Royal DSM, a health and nutrition company.
In a move to preserve nature, Ørsted also said it will donate nearly 1,000 acres of land adjacent to Mockingbird to The Nature Conservancy to protect nearby native tallgrass prairies.
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