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 356 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Texas, employing 4,100 people.
- In 2013, Texas installed 75 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 8th nationally.
- The 300 MW of solar energy currently installed in Texas ranks the state 11th in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 32,000 homes.
- In 2013, $174 million was invested in Texas to install solar for home, business and utility use. This represents a 4% 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 10% in the last year. National prices have also dropped steadily — by 8% from last year and 34% from 2010.
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Notable Solar Installations in Texas
- Alamo 1 Solar Farm was completed in 2013 by developer OCI Solar Power. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 41 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 3,800 Texas homes.
- Another utility-scale project, Pflugerville Solar Power Plant, is currently under construction in Texas and is scheduled to come online in 2015. Developed by RRE Austin Solar, this 48 MW photovoltaic project will generate enough electricity to power 5,200 homes.
- At 30 MW, Austin Energy Project in Webberville is among the largest solar installations in Texas. Completed in 2011 by SunEdison, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 2,800 homes.
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 356 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: 77 manufacturers, 19 manufacturing facilities, 134 contractor/installers, 34 project developers, 27 distributors and 84 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