Four months after the failure of the Texas electric grid sparked a backlash against clean power, investors and developers have decided just what the state needs: more renewable energy. Much more.
Texas is on pace to have as much green-power development in coming years as the next three states combined, according to the American Clean Power Association, a Washington-based trade group. Projects totaling 15 gigawatts — equal to the total electrical capacity of Finland in 2019 — are under construction or in advanced development, more than double three years ago. That’s according to data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or Ercot, the state’s grid operator.
All told, the forthcoming wind, solar and battery-storage projects are worth an estimated $20 billion to $25 billion, the American Clean Power Association said.
“We’re not tapping the brakes,” said Philip Moore, senior vice president of Danish power giant Orsted A/S’s North American onshore unit, which just finished building a large solar and storage complex to provide power for West Texas oil and natural gas fields. “Coming out of the storm, we continue to see Ercot as a growth market.”
The building boom demonstrates the appeal that wind and solar continue to have for investors as the green transition accelerates, with companies under increasing pressure from shareholders and environmental groups to tackle climate change. It also bodes well for U.S. President Joe Biden’s push to eliminate power-sector emissions, since Texas produces more electricity than any other state.
[Josh Saul and Brian Eckhouse]