Success in the renewable-energy revolution seems to be measured at least in part by bragging rights and record-breaking, as states leapfrog over each other for the title of largest wind farm, highest portfolio standard or some other bar-raising, eye-catching announcement.
In that vein, Texas has jumped into the news with what may be yet another niche category within the solar industry. Earlier this summer, Texas A&M University announced a collaborative partnership on a new facility that it boasts will be the largest of its kind in the world.
The Center for Solar Energy in Killeen, Texas, is a joint effort between Texas A&M–Central Texas and PPA Partners, a Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company. The university describes the center as “an incubation program to develop early-stage technologies in solar power.”
When completed, the $600 million center will cover up to 800 acres and house an advanced renewable-power generation system that will power the A&M–Central Texas campus.
The center will facilitate research and new curriculum development at the university. It will strive to bring emerging technologies from concept to market within two years by attracting the interest of capital investors. A special program is designed to advance this objective through training, engineering, demonstration and manufacturing support. Participants will enter the program through an awarded scholarship, venture capital partner or advisory board recommendation.