The 497MW Roadrunner solar farm was developed in two phases in Upton County, Texas, US. Credit: Enel Green Power.
Enel Green Power owns and operates the project. Credit: Enel Green Power.
Roadrunner is the largest operational solar plant in Texas. Credit: Enel Green Power.

Roadrunner is a 497MW capacity solar project located in Upton County, Texas, US. The solar farm is owned and operated by Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Enel Group.

The phased construction of the project started in March 2019. The 252MW first phase of the solar plant became operational in December 2019, while the 245MW second phase began operations in September 2020. The solar farm can generate 1.2TWh of power annually, offsetting more than 800,000t of CO₂ emissions a year.

The plant will also include a 57MW battery storage system, which is expected to become operational in June 2022. The project employed approximately 500 people at the peak of the construction.

Roadrunner solar project location and details

Spanning a 2,770-acre area, the solar plant lies approximately five miles north-east of the city of McCamey in west Texas.

Roadrunner solar farm is installed with more than 1.2 million bifacial solar modules based on solar photovoltaic technology. The bifacial solar modules can double production by using captured reflections from the ground to produce solar energy. An existing building in downtown McCamey was renovated for the local operations of the project.

The company implemented its sustainable construction site model for project development. Approximately 275t of pallet wood was reused as mulch, and more than 8t of construction waste was recycled for the project development.

WTEC Energy was responsible for supplying solar steel and medium voltage cables for the Roadrunner solar farm.

The Roadrunner project is expected to generate nearly $60m in new tax revenues for Upton County during its service life.

Power purchase agreements

Enel Green Power signed a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Mondelez International for 65MW of energy in October 2019. The power generated by the plant is transmitted to the electricity grid. The agreement was in line with Mondelez’s new 2025 Impact Goals and will reduce the company’s manufacturing emissions worldwide by up to 5%.

In November 2019, The Clorox Company signed a 12-year 70MW virtual PPA to purchase energy from the project, beginning from 2021. The total purchased electricity will comprise 50% of the company’s renewable energy goal required for operating in the US and Canada. Schneider Electric Energy and Sustainability Services was the advisor on the PPA for the company.

Enel Green Power’s renewable energy projects in the US and Canada

Enel Green Power plays an important role in increasing the renewable energy capacity of the US. Apart from the Roadrunner solar project, the company operates the 66MW Whitney Hill and 185MW Hilltopper wind farms located in Logan County, Illinois, as well as the 450MW High Lonesome wind farm in Texas.

The 50MW expansion of the High Lonesome wind project in Texas became operational in May 2020, while the 236.5MW White Cloud wind project in Missouri began operations in December of the same year.

The company’s 299MW Aurora wind project in North Dakota is expected to become operational in the coming months.

The company also constructed the 105MW Riverview and 29.4MW Castle Rock Ridge II wind projects in Alberta, Canada, which are now delivering energy to the power grid. The company is active across 24 US states and two Canadian provinces, producing more than 5GW of renewable energy a year.