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  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013


    San Antonio, Austin support 85 percent of Texas solar energy installations; Legislature considering bills to help expand solar to rest of state

    February 14, 2013 (Environment Texas)

    “The municipally owned utilities in San Antonio and Austin have supported the installation of four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined or 85 percent of the state total, according to Reaching for the Sun: How San Antonio and Austin Are Showing that Solar Is a Powerful Energy Option for Texas

    “CPS Energy, which serves San Antonio and surrounding areas, reports solar energy installations of 52.6 megawatts (MW) while Austin Energy reports 41.3 MW. Oncor, the utility serving Dallas, Fort Worth and other areas, is a distant third with 9.89 MW. On the basis of installed solar energy per customer account, Austin Energy has 0.099 kW per account, CPS energy 0.073 kw, and El Paso Electric takes third with 0.005 kW.”

    “…[The Environment Texas Research and Policy Center report] credits San Antonio and Austin’s strong policies that encourage solar power on residences and businesses, and in utility-scale installations…[S]olar energy can help reduce the need for coal and natural gas power plants that cause air pollution, contribute to global warming, and use excessive amounts of precious water for cooling…[A] recent study by the operator of Texas’ electricity grid (ERCOT) [showed] that the most cost-effective way to meet the state’s growing need for electricity on the hottest summer days is to add solar and wind energy generating capacity rather than natural gas-fired power plants.

    “…According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Texas has the potential to generate more than 100 times our current electric use from solar power. But despite the leadership of San Antonio and Austin, Texas ranks just 13th in the nation for installed solar…[S]everal bills filed in the Legislature which could help expand the state’s use of solar energy…”


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