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Developer 7X Energy to build 250-MW solar facility in West Texas

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Houston — Solar developer 7X Energy is "on track" to begin construction of a project in Pecos County, Texas, and has entered a long-term power purchase agreement with a Fortune 500 company, 7X said Wednesday.

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The 250-MW Taygete facility is expected to become commercially operational in the first quarter of 2021, the Austin-based company said.

The developer said Wednesday it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with an investment-grade, Fortune 500 company for 250 MW of power from phase 1 of its Taygete Energy Project in Texas.

The company said the Taygete utility-scale solar project "represents an investment in West Texas of over $300 million." The PPA follows 7X's February 8 announcement of the sale of its 100 MW Lapetus West Texas solar project to Duke Energy Renewables for an undisclosed amount.

Utility-scale solar capacity has been surging in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. According to ERCOT, 556 MW of utility-scale solar was installed in its territory as of January 2017. That jumped to 1,485.4 MW at the end of 2018. In the first two months of 2019, three facilities with combined capacity of 450 MW of new utility-scale solar have been announced.

Solar energy from the Taygete facility, which will be located on 2,000 acres north of Fort Stockton in Pecos County and will interconnect at the Pig Creek substation, will be sold under a "multi-year, fixed priced power purchase agreement," to a corporate off-taker whose identity is confidential, according to 7X.

The company said Wednesday it will be the sole developer and owns 100% of the equity in the project.

LAPETUS' POWER WILL GO TO COOPERATIVES

"On the heels of selling the 100 MW Lapetus Solar Project we are excited to expand on our successful track record with the execution of [the Taygete] PPA," said Clay Butler, president and CEO of 7X.

Duke Energy Renewables has called the Lapetus Solar Energy Project its "largest regulated or unregulated solar facility in the US."

It is to be built in Andrews County, roughly 75 miles west of Midland, in the Permian Basin close to the border with New Mexico.

Power from the Lapetus facility is to be delivered to ERCOT at the project node, with energy delivered to Brazos Electric Power Cooperative based in Waco, Texas, which will purchase the power on behalf of North Texas-based CoServ Electric, which will then distribute the power to seven other distribution cooperative members.

On January 30, German utility E.ON announced it broke ground on its 100 MW West of the Pecos solar project, located in Reeves County in West Texas. E.ON's US subsidiary, E.ON Climate & Renewables North America, which has 16 wind projects in Texas with combined capacity of just over 2,700 MW, said the West of Pecos facility will be its first solar project in in the state.

The facility is expected to come online in December 2019.

-- Jeffrey Ryser, jeffrey.ryser@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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