More than 645 MW of solar capacity nears commercial operation in ERCOT
Houston — More than 645 MW of solar capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas neared commercial operation in January, which will boost the state’s solar nameplate capacity by more than 28% when that capacity comes online, though solar projects totaling 380 MW were canceled in the month, a new report shows.
“Strong solar output could easily put a damper on super-peak pricing, but also runs the risk of increasing volatility, especially in instances of high [forced generation] outages,” Travis Whalen, a power market analyst at S&P Global Platts Analytics, said Tuesday.
ERCOT’s latest Generation Interconnection Status Report, dated Sunday, shows the 241-MW Misae Solar project approved for synchronization in Childress County in northwest Texas and the 204.5-MW Holstein Solar project approved for synchronization in Nolan County in West Texas. Also, ERCOT has approved the 200-MW Rambler Solar project for energization in Tom Green County, also in West Texas.
Under ERCOT rules, projects must first get approved for energization, then synchronization, before being approved for commercial operation.
The only projects approved for commercial operation in January were two wind repower projects, which did not add or subtract from ERCOT’s capacity.
In addition to solar projects totaling 380 MW that were canceled in January, the 58-MW Westoria Storage project was canceled, and ERCOT moved four solar projects totaling 492 MW into the “Inactive Projects” category, meaning they have failed to meet certain progress benchmarks to be considered more likely to be completed.