Developer closes deal for massive new solar farm that will power Microsoft: ‘This will stabilize the energy grid’ – The Cool Down

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Solar developer Primergy Solar is on the road to building a massive new solar farm near Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, after closing a $588 million financing deal. The solar farm will be among the largest in the state, with a 408-megawatt capacity — and all of that clean energy will be going directly to tech giant Microsoft.

Ash Creek Solar, as it will be called, is also expected to bring 350 local, full-time construction jobs to the community.

This is a big deal for Microsoft, which has pledged to reduce its environmental footprint but has also struggled to do so in recent years. The company has presented itself as carbon neutral in the past, but that assertion was based on its purchase of controversial and often misleading carbon credits. 

It has also set public goals of reducing pollution from its direct operations to “near zero” by 2025, and reducing direct pollution from its supply chain by at least 50% by 2030. However, in 2022, the company’s planet-overheating pollution moved in the wrong direction, growing by 21%.

Getting the full capacity from a massive new solar farm should help the company move towards those goals instead of away from them.

The fact that the project is moving forward in Texas is also significant. The state somewhat surprisingly took over the top spot as the United States’ leading producer of solar energy recently, despite the efforts of several state politicians who have fought against clean energy development on behalf of the dirty energy industry. 

However, multiple solar projects currently in the works are adding more than 1,000 megawatts of clean energy to the grid. Over the next 10 years, Texas is expected to outpace the next closest state in terms of solar capacity added by a two-to-one ratio.

“Texas has the sun. Texas has the energy demand. Texas has the land. This will stabilize the energy grid and provide clean energy. Build it Texas,” wrote one Electrek commenter.

“Last year’s storm fiasco underlines that Texas needs all the grid improvement it’s possible to provide. As well as less dogmatic and more technically competent politicians,” wrote another.

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