How is Texas solar growing in 2020?
Growing Texas solar power generation is about to take off in an even bigger way. According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas should double its solar electricity generation in 2020 and do it again in 2021. “Solar developers are taking advantage of ample land, abundant sunshine and federal renewable energy tax subsidies before they drop from 30 percent this year to 10 percent for commercial projects and disappear entirely for rooftop installations in 2022,” a December 2 article said.
Experts say as solar generation continues to expand it will disrupt the Texas energy market like wind power did. Solar’s effect could be greater because it generates the most power at the same time demand for electricity in Texas is highest — afternoons in the heat of summer. This, in turn, can ease power shortages other energy sources cannot prevent during peak demand.
Though the full force of solar power may not be felt for another five years or so, more utility scale battery storage on solar farms could be a game changer. These batteries are rare now; however, they can store huge amounts of energy for nights and cloudy days. This should mean lower fixed rate electricity prices since power companies will not need to be as worried about wholesale price surges during peak demand.
Texas solar projects coming online
Big solar energy projects are on the horizon in Texas. Solar projects near Lubbock, Midland, and dozens of other places are in the planning stage. Experts say some will come to fruition, and some won’t. However, some projects are expected to finish in the near future.
One such project is a Texas panhandle solar farm by Misae Solar Parks to be constructed in two phases. The first phase should come online by the end of 2020. The second larger phase will connect to the Texas power grid in 2021. The 2.6 million solar panels on 5,000 acres will generate more than one gigawatt of electricity.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects utility scale generation to increase for wind, solar, and other non-hydropower renewables from 9% in 2019 to 10% in 2020. As they come to completion, they can make big impacts in the stability and cost of Texas electricity. Plus as more solar projects hook into the Texas power grid, customers will benefit from lower, more stable prices.
Texas solar electricity price outlook
EIA’s December 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook predicts a huge jump in renewable power generation in 2020. A healthy gain projected from 410.86 kWh in 2018 to 437.28 kWh in 2019 will be far surpassed in 2020 when generation reaches 503.05 kWh. Solar power consumption will see a similar pattern, EIA projects.
EIA expects a modest increase in national residential retail electricity prices from 12.97 cents per kWh in 2019 to 13.09 cents in 2020. However, this winter’s electricity prices will likely be down slightly from last winter for consumers in the southern US.
Save money with a new electricity plan
If your current electricity provider doesn’t take advantage of renewable energy, it’s time to shop https://www.texaselectricityratings.com. Switching electricity providers can save you money each month on your power bill. Pick the plan that best fits your household’s usage, and let the savings roll in.