Solar power in Texas, along with wind has the potential for Texas remaining an energy exporting state for as long as people live on the planet. Texas has the largest solar potential and the largest wind potential in the country. The state has natural gas and oil resources, but their finite nature brings uncertainty as to how long they can be relied on.
Texas is in a separate electrical grid from the rest of the country, but there is a proposal to connect ERCOT to the Eastern Grid and the Western Grid through the Tres Amigas SuperStation, located near Clovis, New Mexico, to allow up to 30,000 MW to be transferred.
The largest solar farm in Texas is the 35 MW Webberville Solar Farm, near Austin, which began operation in December, 2011. The second largest is the 16.6 MWBlue Wing Solar Project, at the intersection of I37 and US 181, southeast of San Antonio, which began operation in November, 2010. Top solar contractors in Texas include Meridian Solar, Longhorn Solar, Axium Solar and Native.
Covering half of the roof with 10% efficient photovoltaics is sufficient to generate all of the electricity used by an average family in Texas. Solar farms are more cost effective in West Texas, where insolation levels are greater. The US uses about 100 quads of energy each year. This number is expected to be reduced by 50% by 2050, due to efficiency increases. Texas has the potential to generate 22,786,750 million kWh/year, more than any other state, from 7,743,000 MW of concentrated solar power plants, using 34% of Texas.
Texas electricity consumption in 2005 was 334,258 million kWh, more than any other state, and 9.1% of the US total.