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Not even a pandemic can stop solar’s epic growth

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The workers building the 200-megawatt Rambler Solar Project in Tom Green County, Texas, had hit their stride when the pandemic struck. Pile drivers smoothly sunk I-beams into the ground. A team attached rotating racks that followed the course of the sun across the sky. Next, a crew bolted in solar panels, followed by a group of electricians that wired everything together. All that halted when some of the project's 300 workers tested positive for COVID-19 in the spring of 2020.

But just a week later, the workers were back, and by August 2020 that project was generating enough electricity to power more than 32,000 homes. "There were a few more hurdles and things to dodge along the way, but the team did such a great job," said Matt Johnson, general manager of engineering for Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.

Despite the pandemic, the United States built more utility-scale solar power plants in 2020 than any other year, with Texas leading the way. All those new........

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