C+S May 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 5 (web)

Channel Sponsor: Presto Geosystems | www.prestogeo.com

With lots of land and sun, the wide-open spaces of Texas are proving to be a great location for solar farms, paving the way for this top energy producing state to expand its foothold in the re- newable energy sector. According to the Energy Information Administration, about one-third of the utility-scale solar capacity planned to come online in the United States in the next two years, about 30 gigawatts (GW), will be in Texas. California currently has the most installed utility-scale solar capacity of any state, but Texas has been catching up. In 2021, Texas added 6,060 mega-watts (MW) of solar power and has been tracking to add 10 GW of utility-scale solar capacity by the end of 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing and largest markets for solar power. This is until the U.S. De- partment of Commerce initiated an investigation for circumvention tariffs on solar products from Asian countries in late March. The decision came only four months after the agency rejected a similar petition that increased solar prices and threatened the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers in the solar industry. Improving economics and government tax incen- tives spurred investment in utility-scale solar facilities in Texas. This, combined with overall Texas Solar Farms Providing Bright Futures Face New Tariff Threat By David Wallace, P.E.

declining costs to produce solar power over the past decade, provided a boost in investments in new solar capacity in the state. In fact, the So- lar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) ranked Texas as the top solar state in 2021, beating California. This momentum is now at risk due to the threat of tariffs and could ultimately result in the loss of 70,000 American jobs, including 11,000 manufacturing jobs nationally. Job creation has been one of the most noteworthy and impactful benefits of the recent exponential growth of the solar industry in the U.S. McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy and Storage group is involved with numerous utility-scale solar projects for pri - vate solar developers and utilities. The group is currently construct- ing or has completed nearly 70 utility-scale clean energy projects in states across the country including Arizona, California, Colorado,

Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, Utah, and Texas. These solar projects have created new jobs for thousands of workers. In the last six months, McCarthy has constructed three utility-scale solar projects in northeast Texas, serving as the Engineer, Procure, Construction (EPC) contractor: • A new 392-megawatt solar project in Sulphur Springs, Texas which is approximately 80 miles east of Dallas, is currently under construction, requiring approximately 400 workers to build. The solar farmwill consist of 876,000 photovoltaic panels and 85 cen- tral inverters and will cover approximately 3,000 acres. Electricity produced on this farm will go straight into the electrical grid. • Elm Branch: Situated 40 miles south of Dallas in Ennis, Texas is a solar farm comprised of more than 360,000 solar panels



May 2022

Made with FlippingBook Annual report