As the Texas economy continues to grow, electricity consumption has correspondingly increased. Environmental regulations and various market pressures have forced a significant amount of generation to exit the market in recent years while older generation sources continue to be retired. Thus, new solar generation capacity is required to meet the Texas market's demand. With appropriate state policy that removes, or at least does not create, market barriers and recognizes solar's benefits, the Texas solar market should see significant growth in the coming years.
Facts on the Texas Solar Industry
- There are currently more than 398 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Texas, employing 7,000 people.
- In 2014, Texas installed 129 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 8th nationally.
- The 330 MW of solar energy currently installed in Texas ranks the state 10th in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 57,000 homes.
- In 2014, $252 million was invested on solar installations in Texas. This represents a 45% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year.
- Average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices in Texas have fallen by 20% in the last year. National Prices have also dropped steadily - by 8% from last year and 49% from 2010.
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Notable Solar Installations in Texas
Alamo 4 Solar Farm was completed in 2014 by developer OCI Solar Power. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 39 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 4,200 Texas homes.
At 30 MW, the Barilla Solar Project in Webberville is the first merchant solar project in the United States. With no long term electricity contract, the project from First Solar and Austin Energy represents a landmark in the production of cost-efficient solar energy.
Several large retailers in Texas have gone solar, including REI, Applied Materials, Kohl's, Campbell's Soup and Target. IKEA has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1,633 kW of solar capacity at their location in Round Rock.
See our solar installations maps.
SEIA Texas State Policy Priorities
- Educate lawmakers, public utility commissioners and their respective staff on sound solar policies and defend the solar industry against legislation and regulations that may impede solar’s growth in the state.
- Participate in discussions and proceedings at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to open the market for solar energy, remove market barriers and prevent the creation of new obstacles to the industry’s growth.
- Support policies that promote additional solar capacity to ensure future electric reliability at an affordable rate.
Solar Companies in Texas
There are currently more than 398 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Texas. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels. These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 86 manufacturers, 22 manufacturing facilities, 144 contractor/installers, 35 project developers, 40 distributors and 94 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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Texas State Solar Policy Resources
Public Utility Commission - Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of Texas public utilities
State Legislature - Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Texas
State Energy Office - Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics
DSIRE incentives database - Texas - Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Texas and across the United States
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Texas State Profile - Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government