Texas soon will be home to the country’s largest solar facility, thanks to a project under construction by Chicago-based sustainable energy company Invenergy. The state already consistently ranks in the top 5 states for electricity generated by solar energy, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Invenergy recently outlined its plans for a 1,310-megawatt solar energy facility in a press release. By itself, it will increase the state’s current solar capacity by more than 23 percent.
The new facility will be called the Samson Solar Energy Center. It is under construction in northeast Texas. Three Texas cities, five consumer brands and more than 20 other corporate users have signed on as clients. The brands include AT&T, Honda, McDonald’s, Google, and The Home Depot.
A company spokesman says the project shows cooperation between business, government, and itself. “Invenergy continues to lead the energy transition, and this record-setting project demonstrates our expertise at a new scale,” Ted Romaine, senior vice president of origination, said in the press release. “The Samson Solar Energy Center is the latest example of what can be achieved when companies and utilities seek an innovative partner to meet their sustainability goals and invest in a clean energy future.”
The Samson Solar project spans parts of Lamar, Red River, and Franklin counties. It is a $1.6 billion capital investment and will employ up to 600 workers during its 36-month construction period.
Invenenergy says the project should also drive economic development. The company paid more than $250 million to landowners for the property. The project also will be responsible for $200 million in property tax payments throughout its tenure.
Samson Solar is being built in five phases. The project is scheduled to be finished in three years. It should be fully operational in 2023. Invenenergy says it will produce enough energy to power nearly 300,000 homes.
Despite the addition, Texas is unlikely to take the lead in electricity generation from solar energy. California currently produces about a third of the nation’s solar power.
Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.