With a capacity of 1,846.9 MW, Texas ranks seventh in the country for solar capacity as of Q3 2017, powering 207,000 Texas homes and employing 9,396 people. Yet, solar energy still only made up 1 percent of all in-state electricity production in Texas in ’17.
In terms of solar capacity growth, Texas ranks third in the nation, installing 228 new solar installations as of Q3 2017. Over the next 5 years, 5,239 MW will be added to Texas’ solar capacity.
According to Google’s Project Sunroof, which uses satellite imagery to show the amount of solar power that could be collected from roof-top solar installations, Houston has the greatest solar energy potential of any U.S. city. Houston could generate enough solar energy to power 1.7 million homes annually.
More than 100 Houston-based companies are involved in some aspect of solar power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. In March ’17, Houston-based Sunnova Energy Corporation announced plans to develop new residential solar projects with a total value of more than $200 million.
In April ’17, the 50 MW SolaireHolman solar project started generating power. This project, located in Alpine, TX, will provide the City of Houston up to 10.5 percent of its electricity needs under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The project includes 203,840 solar panels and will provide electricity for Houston locations as the Hermann Park Zoo, the Bob Lanier Public Works Building, wastewater treatment plants, and several Bush Intercontinental Airport terminals.
Houston also has on-site solar arrays that generate more than 125,000 kWh annually at municipal buildings.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Roel Gabe Martinez, GISP, CERP