60 MW Solar Plant Set For Outside Austin

An Austin-based startup broke ground on a solar power plant about 20 miles northeast of the Texas Capitol, billing it as “one of the the largest solar projects in the world.” That might be a bit of hyperbole, but if the plant reaches its goal of 60 megawatts (MW), the Pflugerville Solar Farm by RRE Power would definitely qualify as a large-scale project.

In a statement, RRE Power President Dinesh Mehta said Pflugerville “represents the first project of our company in the United States and one of many more to follow in our quest to develop a 500 MW capacity in the next 5 years.” The company said construction of the Texas plant will begin by March 2011 and some power could flow to the grid by the end of the year. However, the company said the full 60-MW project wouldn’t be installed for another two to three years.

Pflugerville solar plant, Austin, Texas, RRE Power

image via RRE Power

Copper Mountain, outside Boulder City, Nev., currently owns the title of largest solar plant in the United States, with a generating capacity of 48 MW. However, a number of much larger plants are in development. In California alone, for example, no fewer than 10 plants ranging from 150 to 1,000 MWs have been approved for construction.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.