174 Power, TotalEnergies break ground on behind-the-meter solar plant in Texas

A groundbreaking ceremony for the plant, which will have more than 231,000 modules. Image: Gerdau.

Solar developer 174 Power Global and oil and gas company TotalEnergies have started construction of an 80MW behind-the-meter (BTM) PV project in Texas.

The plant is being built on a 700-acre site in Midlothian, near Dallas, and is backed by a 20-year power purchase agreement previously signed by Gerdau Long Steel North America and 174 Power Global, which is wholly owned by Hanwha Group.

Under construction next to a Gerdau steel mill, the project will feature the company’s solar beam pilings and more than 231,000 modules, with commercial operation expected to be reached by the summer of 2023.

“We are pleased to partner with Gerdau and TotalEnergies as we start construction on one of the largest BTM solar facilities in the nation that will provide environmental and economic benefits to Midlothian,” said 174 Power Global president Henry Yun.

TotalEnergies is participating in the project’s development through a joint venture with 174 Power Global that was announced earlier this year and will see the two companies bring forward US solar and storage plants with a total capacity of 1.6GW by 2024.

Research published in April by the US Energy Information Administration revealed that one-third of utility-scale solar set to come online in the US in the next two years will be in Texas. Factors driving PV deployment in the state, according to the agency, include high solar irradiance and the existing availability of transmission lines.