The city of Houston recently announced a proposal to develop a 70-megawatt solar farm, which will initiate substantial growth in its overall solar capacity. Sunnyside Energy will oversee the project, which is expected to come online within the next two years. The solar farm will be located on a former landfill and could generate enough power for 12,000 homes.
The project will be one of Texas’ largest urban solar farms. Development will be led by Wolfe Energy, which is supported in the Sunnyside Energy group by EDF Renewables and MP-2 Shell. The Sunnyside community is home to many low-income residents who will hopefully benefit from the new project. “It is fitting that Sunnyside would be home to one of the largest urban solar farms in Texas,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner states. “The project proposes to not only revitalize an underutilized piece of property that has been an eyesore to the community for years, but could also make Sunnyside a more complete, sustainable and resilient community.”
In 2018, Houston more than doubled its overall solar capacity to a modest 20 megawatts. The Sunnyside project would more than quadruple that figure.
The project is a critical part of Houston’s involvement in the C40 Innovative Cities competition, a global initiative that rewards carbon free urban projects. The solar farm is projected to be carbon neutral by its fifth year, meaning that the carbon needed to construct the facility will be offset by the energy it produces by that time. Thereafter, the carbon free energy produced by Sunnyside will offset emissions from fossil fuel power plants.