Texas Solar Round-up
July 1, 2020
Welcome to the State of Texas Solar, where we discuss all things solar in the Lone Star state. In the past year, the solar market in Texas has experienced record-breaking growth – as they say, everything is bigger in Texas and that includes the demand for solar. In true Texas spirit, the charge for solar has created friendly competition in cities around the state. Most recently 3 major Texas cities have hit major milestones in just the past few months.
First, we’ll head down south to the energy capital of the world, Houston. In the past two months, we’ve seen bold action in an effort to increase the city’s sustainability. On April 30, 2020, Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner announced that the city was committing to 100% renewable energy for all municipal operations beginning in July of this year, well ahead of schedule and reinforcing Houston’s leadership as the top municipal user of renewable energy in the United States according to the US EPA. This is the first initiative set as part of the city’s recently released Climate Action Plan, which is a strategy for Houston to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and be a leader in the global energy transition.
“This announcement is a shining example of how the Houston Climate Action Plan is already in motion. Expanding our renewable energy investment through our partnership with NRG helps us build a more sustainable city and save over $9 million per year on our electric bill. Together, we are leading by example and showing how to reduce emissions in the Energy Capital of the World,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Turner is also looking to develop one of the largest urban solar farms in the U.S. on a 300-acre dorman landfill site, according to Bloomberg. Environment Texas notes that distributed solar installations for homes and businesses in Houston have doubled over the past two years. “Houston is quickly moving up the ranks of American cities for solar,” Luke Metzger, executive director of the nonprofit, said in an email to Bloomberg. “We’re seeing similar growth in the suburbs as well.”
Next up on the Texas solar roundup is the Alamo City, recognized in May as a “shining city” by Environment Texas for the 7th year in a row. The city achieved its highest ranking so far as the 5th largest solar city in the U.S. and the #1 largest in Texas. San Antonio can attribute its success to the nearly 67.6 megawatts of solar capacity they have installed within the past year which is a 36% increase over 2019, while U.S. capacity grew 23 percent.
Last but certainly not least we have the Bat City, keepin’ it weird and also keepin’ it solar. In May, Austin was named the number one city in the country for solar power available per person, beating out Los Angeles. The city ranked 14th in the nation for solar energy produced inside the city limits. This is positive progress towards the City of Austin’s community-wide goal to reach 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2035 and citywide net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
While the solar revolution has been bright throughout many cities in Texas we still see areas that are lagging behind. One of those being the Big D as their solar streak tends to be comparable with that of the Cowboys – bless their hearts. Not too much has changed since we last reported that Dallas has been slower to hop on the solar revolution than most of the other major cities…but we still have hope for you, DFW! Here at Freedom Solar, we’ve been seeing more demand for solar on the western side of the Metroplex and in the outlying cities – maybe the suburbs will save you!
It’s clear that the Texas grid is headed toward more renewable energy. This is a Texas solar trend that’s here to stay. Texans are ready to come and take it. They understand the environmental and financial benefits and are choosing energy independence.