Bechtel has been selected to build a 272 MWdc solar facility for Sabanci Renewables, Inc. in Fort Bend County, Texas. The Fort Bend facility will be the first utility-scale solar project in the United States for Sabanci Renewables, Inc., a subsidiary of Sabanci Holding, one of Turkey’s leading companies. Sabanci Renewables will own and operate the facility.
Bechtel’s scope includes engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, and project management for the Texas facility. Project construction will begin in the first quarter of 2023 with completion of the project expected in the second quarter of 2024. The solar energy generated at Cutlass Solar Two will connect to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ Houston Zone, providing enough electricity to power approximately 40,000 homes with zero-carbon electricity, saving 600,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Or not buy their stuff at all and same 100%. I’m trying to think what I have bought over the last year, other than food and fuel. Only things that come to mind are printer ink, packaging material, and underwear.
Language has a life of its own but I do like precision. In this case the speaker/author really meant “save” the world by reducing CO2 emissions. Save the world is the mantra of the day, after spending to save, that is.
Just for fun, I did a few calculations on this 600,000 metric ton reduction (savings) claim. The number is fairly accurate, but only if the solar plant replaces the electricity that would have been generated from a coal-fired power plant. Since natural gas plants in Texas generate 3 times the electricity of coal plants, it is more likely the solar plant will replace natural gas burners. That puts the CO2 reduction more like 250,000 metric tons per year.
Natural gas plants are more easily curtailed and dispatched to adjust for changing conditions, like the kind of power that the intermittent renewables provide. Therefore, I am more inclined to think the “savings” will be more like 250,000 tonnes, rather than 600,000. But the larger number makes for good PR.
For the calculations, I assumed a 25% capacity factor for the solar farm, and used the US average heat rates and CO2 emission factors for coal and natural gas from the EIA. 25% is pretty close to the US average capacity factor for large solar facilities.
Assumptions like that can get you in trouble. Texas is not shutting down natural gas generation. Texas wants much more natural gas generation along with wind and solar. Here is what the Texas energy officials told their State Legislature recently:
During PUC Chair Peter Lake’s testimony before the House State Affairs Committee on Monday, lawmakers questioned whether the proposal would actually achieve what many Republican members appeared to most want, and what Lt. Gov. Dan Patrickhas already demanded: a guarantee that more natural gas plants will be built in Texas.
Texas wants to shutdown coal fired plants because of pollution upgrades required, CO2 emissions, and cost of keeping old coal plants operating.
Therefore, 600,000 tonnes of CO2 reduction is correct as stated in the article. Bechtel does know the facts about the CO2 emissions reduction for this project.
I never said it was. The Texas power system isn’t going to permanently shut down any reliable, dispatchable generation because of this one moderately sized solar project (which is small by most power plant standards). What ERCOT will do is slightly turn down the power from the gas plants in the middle of the day when this, and other solar plants, are on-line. Then, when the sun goes down, ERCOT will crank up the power from the reliable generators to provide electricity to the customers, as those customers expect.
There is a lot of misunderstanding or misdirection in the solar discussion.
During a congressional hearing it is established that when EVs replace ICE vehicles, American households will use 25 times as much electricity to power their 2 EVs than their refrigerators (whether the numbers are accurate or not is immaterial for this post). Based on this ‘fact’ the congressman asks a misleading a question that elicits the wrong answer.
Q: Do you think it would strain the grid if everyone plugged in 25 refrigerators in every household?
A: Well, if we didn’t make any upgrades to the grid, sure!
The answer should have been that 25 refrigerators drawing power all day is not comparable to two EVs being recharged at night during off peak hours.
Wrong! As I said before Texas is actively shutting down coal fired power plants and building new natural gas powerplants. Your assuming that solar replaces natural gas power generation is wrong. The solar replaces coal fired power generation is the correct.