From outer space to oil wells, Houston, Texas is famous for leading U.S. explorations. So it’s big news when a city like Houston gets ready to become a Texas leader in harnessing solar energy from space and reducing its need for oil.
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As a result of a recent power purchase agreement between the city and NRG Energy, Texas is poised to make history. Houston will soon have the largest solar power plant in the state. NRG will spend $40 million to construct a 10 megawatt solar plant near a local natural gas plant that NRG already owns, and the city of Houston will pay NRG for the power.
However, not all that power will be solar-generated. Houston will purchase 10 MW of power at 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, but pay 19.8 cents/kWh for the solar portion and market rate for power at night and other periods of low solar intensity. The combination results in an average price of 8.2 cents/kWh.
It should also be noted that Houston already gets over 30 percent of its power from wind energy. Houston is also a 2008 addition to the Department of Energy’s Solar America Cities project.
Source: Dallas Morning News