EGEB: Texas gets a new 250 MW solar farm near Dallas-Fort Worth

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions breaks ground on its largest solar project to date, in Texas.
  • Fast charging is needed in all types of communities to speed up the EV transition, finds a new study.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Big Texas solar farm

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions broke ground yesterday on the 250-megawatt (MW) Pisgah Ridge Solar project in Navarro County, Texas, southeast of Dallas-Fort Worth.

It will be Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions’ largest utility-scale solar farm once it’s online. Duke will own and operate the project, and Moss is undertaking engineering and construction. The Texas solar farm will employ between 200 to 300 workers during construction. It will provide significant tax revenues for the Corsicana Independent School District.

Wilmington, Massachusetts-headquartered US pharmaceutical company Charles River Laboratories has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 102 MW of the project over 15 years. Two other unnamed corporations have signed separate 15-year VPPA agreements for the remaining 148MW of solar.

Pisgah Ridge is expected to be online by the end of 2022.

EV charging for all

Researchers at Boulder-based clean energy nonprofit RMI analyzed 101 million miles traveled by Uber and Lyft drivers in Los Angeles. They found that charging stations were lacking in the low-income neighborhoods that ride-hailing electric car drivers serve. RMI published its findings in a new report, “EV Charging for All” (found on its website, linked above).

The research team found that most public fast-charging stations are in or near high-income areas, where early adopters of electric cars tend to live, but that’s not necessarily where Uber and Lyft drivers do business.

The uneven distribution of charging stations pulls electric Uber and Lyft drivers out of low-income communities. As a result, polluting gas cars are more prevalent in low-income areas. So building out a DC fast-charging network can provide cost-effective charging to all Los Angeles residents, and this model can be replicated in cities all over the US.

The report comes just weeks after California approved its new Clean Miles Standard, which requires ride-hailing fleets to electrify 90% of miles served by 2030.

EJ Klock-McCook, an RMI principal and one of the authors of the report, said:

Ride-hailing services provide a unique opportunity to help build a fast-charging network that is not only financially sustainable, but also provides inclusive access to charging in currently underserved areas.

It might seem painfully obvious, but it’s not reflected in the current reality: The US can only transition to electric transport if everyone has access to charging and affordable electric cars.

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