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Texas A&M Building World’s Largest Solar Energy Test Facility

What’s being billed as the world’s largest solar energy testing facility is being planned for central Texas, with a $600 million Center for Solar Energy on 800 acres in Bell County.

The Center for Solar Energy (CSE) will not only allow for testing and demonstration of commercial-scale solar, and act as a solar technology incubator, but will also produce enough power to supply the entire campus at Texas A&M University – Central Texas (TAMU-CT).

The CSE, which will be built out in stages as funding is raised, will eventually be a 50MW solar power plant integrating the “largest assortment of photovoltaic technologies in the world”, and act as a test bed for up and coming solar technologies. One goal of the Center is to attract capital investors to help bring early stage solar tech to the market, as a type of solar incubator.

“Technological innovation is the cornerstone of the Center’s programs, and it will use the 50MW solar field to create a baseline of data for grading new and existing technologies, while also providing a basis for research. Developers of promising early stage technologies will thus be attracted to Central Texas for training, support, and validation,” – Bruce Mercy, executive director of CSE

Part of the CSE project will include new curriculum offerings to TAMU-CT students that is hoped to spur education and research in renewable energy technology, as well as complementing the business and marketing programs.

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