Once constructed, Grizzly Ridge solar installation will help serve increasing demand for renewable energy in Texas


Diode Ventures announces financial close of its first greenfield utility-scale solar photovoltaic project. (Credit: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay)

To help address growing demand for solar energy generation in the southwestern U.S., Diode Ventures (Diode), a Black & Veatch company that develops global infrastructure projects, announced today that has reached financial close on the Grizzly Ridge Solar Project, a nearly 140-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar field located in Hamilton County, Texas. The project was co-developed with RKB Energy, LLC (RKB).

In Texas, favorable economics, regulatory support and a streamlined permitting process are driving significant growth in solar energy development; analysts estimate that installed capacity will reach 1.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar across the state by 2022. Once complete, Grizzly Ridge, a utility-scale solar field located outside Fort Worth, Texas, will provide 137.7 MW dc/100 MW ac to the ERCOT North Zone, a growing economy and power market where there is high demand for all forms of electricity.

“Grizzly Ridge is one of the first utility-scale solar projects that Diode developed from the ground up, marking a significant milestone for the company when it comes to pure greenfield development projects,” said Brad Hardin, president of Diode. “In Texas, we are seeing more resilient infrastructure development on the horizon to support large-scale energy generation from both renewable and non-renewable sources.”

Diode partnered with RKB – a greenfield, utility-scale solar development company that currently focuses on the West and Southwestern regions of the U.S. – to assist with co-development activities of the project, from origination to sale.

“Diode Ventures has been an excellent partner in the Grizzly Ridge Solar project,” said Robert Schleider, president of RKB. “We are excited to see this project enter the build phase of its life cycle and believe it is a great project for Hamilton County and the State of Texas.”

The project is construction-ready, with an executed interconnection agreement with Brazos Electric Cooperative, the transmission service provider. The area will also undergo an upgrade from 69 kilovolts (kV) to 138 kV, reflecting this significant growth in demand. Diode is currently in discussions to add an on-site battery energy storage system to the project, reinforcing its reliability and resilience.

“The Grizzly Ridge Solar Project is an exciting development in a region of the country that continues to see significant demand growth,” said Paul Ksiazek, senior project director with Diode. “The environmental, economic and local tax benefits are noteworthy, and the project will benefit the ERCOT energy portfolio.”

Source: Company Press Release