Orsted Begins Development on 471 MW Texas Solar Center

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Orsted’s Permian Energy Center solar undertaking in Texas

Ørsted is constructing the 471 MW AC Mockingbird Solar Center in Texas. Covering an space of 4,900 acres, Mockingbird will be capable of generate sufficient renewable energy to power greater than 80,000 properties yearly, making it the most important solar PV undertaking in Ørsted’s portfolio so far.

Ørsted has taken closing funding choice (FID) on Mockingbird and can begin development of the undertaking this month. Completion of the undertaking is anticipated in 2024.

“Adding almost half a gigawatt to our portfolio, the decision to build Mockingbird represents an important milestone for our onshore business and for our expansion in solar PV,” says David Hardy, CEO of Region Americas at Ørsted. “We look forward to building Mockingbird and for this project to start producing clean energy at a large scale. Mockingbird will achieve this while doing so in a way that prioritizes conservation and our deep commitment to the communities we serve.”

Almost 1,000 acres of land adjoining to Mockingbird Solar Center will likely be donated to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to guard native prairie in north-east Texas. Less than 1 % of the unique tallgrass prairies of Texas survive immediately, and fewer than 5 % stays nationally. The Ørsted-TNC conservation effort would be the largest preservation effort on report for this sort of native prairie.

“We need to deliver green energy for this generation while protecting natural habitats for the next. That’s why we’ve prioritized the Smiley-Woodfin Prairie in Texas as our first biodiversity initiative in the United States,” states Daniel Willard, biodiversity specialist at Ørsted. “We want to thank The Nature Conservancy for working with us on this conservation effort. Drawing on both internal expertise and outside guidance, we’ll continue to look for opportunities to protect the prairie and ensure that native plants and pollinators thrive.”

The land to be preserved will likely be transferred to TNC earlier than the solar farm enters into operation and begins delivering renewable energy to the group.

In 2021, Ørsted signed a 10-year company power buy settlement with Royal DSM, which will likely be buying a share of the power from Mockingbird.

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