Distribution-Scale Solar Goes Big in Texas

Distribution-Scale Solar Goes Big in Texas

February 22, 2018 | By Dan Seif
Texas has long been known as the capital of oil and gas. And over the past decade it added so much wind power that if Texas were a country, it would be the world’s fourth-largest wind producer. Looking back at the past few years, a fourth energy trend can be added: the growth of solar photovoltaics (PV).

Texas has added 1.8 GW of solar to date, more than 80 percent of that in the past two years, ranking it third in the nation by new capacity. The Texas solar industry now employs about 10,000 people, more than double the number of people employed three years ago.

Astonishing even to solar power proponents, Texas’s main grid operator, Electric Reliability Operator of Texas (ERCOT), forecasted that solar would be the only economically viable new power source from now to 2031 in six of eight potential scenarios, forecasting between 15 and 28 GW of new solar PV.

Distribution-Scale Solar Goes Big in Texas