Solar power in Texas

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Solar array in Austin[1]

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.[2][3] 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.

Solar farms[edit]

The largest solar farm in Texas is the 41 MW Alamo 1 solar farm near San Antonio, which came online in December 2013.[4] Others include the 35 MW Webberville Solar Farm, near Austin, which began operation in December, 2011[5] and the 16.6 MW[6] Blue Wing Solar Project, at the intersection of I37 and US 181, southeast of San Antonio, which began operation in November, 2010.[7] Top solar contractors in Texas include Meridian Solar, Longhorn Solar, Axium Solar and Native.[8] The 60MW Pflugerville Solar Farm is expected to come online in 2015.

Statistics[edit]

Average solar insolation

Potential generation[edit]

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.[9] The US uses about 100 quads of energy each year.[10] This number is expected to be reduced by 50% by 2050, due to efficiency increases.[11] 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.[12]

Texas electricity consumption in 2005 was 334,258 million kWh, more than any other state, and 9.1% of the US total.[13]

Installed capacity[edit]

Texas Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[14][15][16][17][18]
Year Capacity Change % Change
2007 3.2
2008 4.4 1.2 38%
2009 8.6 4.2 95%
2010 34.5 25.9 301%
2011 85.6 51.1 148%
2012 140.3 54.7 64%
2013 215.9 75.6 54%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Output data
  2. ^ Texas Solar Energy
  3. ^ Estimates of Windy Land Area and Wind Energy Potential, by State
  4. ^ [1], OCI Solar Power
  5. ^ City of Austin Activates Largest Texas Solar Farm
  6. ^ FAQ
  7. ^ Blue Wing Solar Farm
  8. ^ Solar Power World
  9. ^ Texas' renewable energy resources
  10. ^ US Energy Consumption
  11. ^ Makhijani, Arjun Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free, A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy 2007 ISBN 978-1-57143-173-8
  12. ^ Renewable Energy Technical Potential
  13. ^ Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (2008-06-25). "Electric Power and Renewable Energy in Texas". United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  14. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 17. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  15. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  16. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  17. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  18. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 

External links[edit]