Erratum: the $210 million figure we reported as the capital cost for this project dates back from when the PPA was originally signed. According to the developer, "The cost was closer to $120 million, not $210 milllion. At $210M, we would be out of business."


Austin Energy is now officially receiving power from a 30-megawatt, utility-scale solar plant with power generated from 127,000 Trina Solar photovoltaic panels on single-axis trackers outside of Austin in Webberville, Texas.

For the time being, the plant can lay claim to the being the largest operating solar installation in Texas. The project was originally developed by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), but FRV sold its U.S. subsidiary to MEMC last year. RES Americas constructed the plant and will provide O&M for the first five years, according to an RES release.

The 380-acre plant has been online since late December 2011, according to the utility's website. Austin Energy has a goal of generating 35 percent of its electrical power from renewables by 2020. 

The largest operating PV project in the country is Nevada's 55-megawatt Copper Mountain project, operated by Sempra.

Here are the vital stats on the Webberville project fron the GTM Research project tracker database:

Developer: SunEdison
Capacity: 34 MWdc / 30 MWac
Power Offtaker: Austin Energy (25 yr PPA)
EPC Firm: RES Americas
Capital cost: $210m
Financer: Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB)
PPA/Electricity Price: $0.165
Module Info: Trina, multi c-Si
Inverter Manufacturer: Emerson Electric
BOS Type: 1-Axis tracking
Land Area: 320 acres
Notes: Non-escalating PPA. Project was initially contracted by Gemini Solar Development (JV between Renewable Ventures and Suntech), but did not proceed as such. FRV is now full owner of the project and began construction in May 2011. FRV purchased by SunEdison (MEMC). True South Renewables is plant operator, will perform independent commissioning by implementing first-in-industry Construction Integrated System Commissioning (CISC) protocol.