In just this past quarter Texas added 380 megawatts of solar power—that’s 24 percent of all the state’s solar power. The rapid expansion allowed the state to become the nation’s seventh largest state for completed solar installations, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) latest US Solar Market Insight report.
Texas has long been looked at as one of the biggest potential states for solar installations given its southern location, size and open space. “Texas has some of the biggest solar potential in the country,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “This past quarter shows it is living up to that potential, and its solar businesses now employ more people than almost any other state. Its future outlook is even brighter.”
Though it could seem the growth of solar power in Texas has been slow, it’s been doing things Texas-style, big. So the state will likely catch up quickly. It announced some giant solar projects as early as 2013, when it announced the 400 megawatt Alamo Solar Project. The project was also part of the OCI Solar manufacturing plant agreement, under which OCI Solar could bring as many as 800 manufacturing jobs to San Antonio. Likewise the 120 megawatt East Pecos Solar Facility came online this spring.
The 380 megawatts (MW) installed in the second quarter is 17 times more capacity than the 22 MW that went online in the state in Q1. This helped Texas move up two more places to become the 7th biggest solar state. Over the past year, Texas has moved up three places in the overall state rankings. It was the 10th largest solar state at this time last year.
According to the latest figures, Texas now has 1.6 gigawatts (GWs) of solar power installed across the state but looking ahead, the Lone Star state is likely to keep moving up in the ranks. SEIA said it’s anticipated that more than 5.3 GWs of solar will be installed in the state. That would make it second behind only California, which already has installed more than 19.7 gigawatts of solar installed.Tweet