The new Webberville Solar project just outside of Austin, Texas. Photo: The Digital Texan.
Austin Energy had recently turned on the Webberville Solar Project, the biggest solar farm in Texas owned by global solar energy services provider SunEdison. The 30 MW facility located in the village of Webberville, Texas started producing power on December 20, 2011. The sprawling 380-acre solar farm is said to be the largest project ever undertaken by any public power utility in the country and one of the largest in America. The world’s largest wind farm, it’s interesting to note, is also in Texas.
The Webberville solar farm contains 127,000 photovoltaic panels that are mounted on moving axles designed to track the sun for optimum power generation. The project was green-lighted after Austin Energy signed a PPA agreement to purchase power from it at a fixed rate for 25 years. The giant utility aims to obtain 35% of its energy production from renewable sources by 2020.
According to Austin Energy, the new solar farm has the capacity to generate 1.4 billion kWh of electricity over the next 25 years effectively providing power to 5,000 average-sized U.S. homes per year and prevent the release of of 1.6 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.