News Release | Environment Texas

Counter to utility claims, solar users provide net benefits

AUSTIN – Solar panels provide pollution free energy that delivers far reaching benefits to the environment and the electric grid, said a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. The report outlines how solar panels on homes, schools and businesses often provide more benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, counter to utility claims that solar owners don’t pay their fair share.

News Release | Environment Texas

Texas solar capacity grew 62% in 2015

AUSTIN – Texas installed 207 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity in 2015 - a 62% increase – and ranked 10th in the nation for cumulative solar installed, according to a new report released by Environment Texas and the Sierra Club. Electric grid operator ERCOT projects Texas will add as much as 27,200 MW of solar in the next fifteen years, but the groups said anti-solar policies and efforts to prop up failing coal-fired power plants could jeopardize this growth.

News Release | Environment Texas

San Antonio ranks 7th in nation for solar

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio experienced major growth in solar capacity in 2015, going from 88 megawatts (MW) to 108 MW in one year, an increase of about 23 percent. The Alamo City ranked 1st in Texas and 7th nationally for solar capacity, just behind Indianapolis and ahead of New York, thanks in large part to continued investment by local utility CPS Energy. 

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Green groups call on Target to go solar

AUSTIN - Target has pledged to put solar panels on a quarter of its stores, but the company could cut pollution dramatically and even save its customers money by putting panels on all of its nearly 2,000 rooftops in North America, advocacy group Environment Texas said today.

News Release | Environment Texas

Houston approved 30 mw solar energy contract

HOUSTON - Today the Houston City Council approved a contract for 30 megawatts of solar energy, enough electricity to power 6.7 percent of municipal operations. The twenty year power purchase agreement is the first of its kind for a city in Texas' deregulated electric market and is expected to save Houston approximately $5.3 million while reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions four percent. The power will come from a solar facility to be built near the west Texas town of Alpine. The contract comes amid a time of unprecedented growth for solar, fueled by low prices and growing public and regulatory demand for cleaner energy. ERCOT projects solar in Texas will grow 51-fold in the next fifteen years.   

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

ERCOT report predicts 5100 percent increase in solar

AUSTIN - A new report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) predicts major increases in the use of solar power to meet Texas' energy needs. The report, which reviews the impacts of new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules - including the Clean Power Plan (CPP) - on Texas' electric grid, predicts solar will increase from 250 megawatts (mw) today to 13,000 mw by 2030 - an increase of 5100 percent - even without the new EPA rules. A year earlier ERCOT predicted the state would generate 9,900 mw by 2029, an increase in their estimate Environment Texas Research and Policy Center called "remarkable". The report estimates that with the EPA rules, solar will increase to as high as 14,100 mw by 2030.

News Release | Environment Texas

Austin to get 13% of electricity from solar

AUSTIN - The Austin city council voted 8-2-1 to negotiate and execute contracts for between 112 - 162 megawatts (mw) of additional solar energy by 2017. Combined with 288 mw of solar approved two weeks ago and earlier solar investments, the city of Austin is on track to generate approximately 13% of its power from solar energy by 2017. In addition, the council called for 150 mw more to be built or contracted by 2019. The investments are expected to save consumers money over the life of the contracts, reduce global warming pollution, and reclaim leadership from San Antonio for the leading city in Texas on solar.

News Release

Consumer Energy Alliance among nation’s top solar energy opponents, says report

AUSTIN –Along with the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Consumer Energy Alliance is one of 12 special interest group running the most aggressive anti-solar campaigns in the country, said a new report by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center.

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Report: Solar energy benefits vastly outweigh costs

SAN ANTONIO–Households and businesses with solar panels deliver greater benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, a report said today, countering increasing complaints from utilities that solar homeowners don’t pay their fair share.

“While some utilities claim they’re subsidizing solar panel owners, our report shows the opposite is probably true,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas.  “If anything, utilities should be paying people who go solar more, not less.”

News Release | Environment Texas

Officials call on Texas to go big on solar

AUSTIN – Thirty civic leaders from El Paso to Houston today called for the state to generate 20 percent of its electricity from solar power within a decade. The bi-partisan group, which includes the Mayors of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Georgetown and county officials in Pecos, Nueces and El Paso counties, wrote Gov. Abbott and urged him to “make solar energy a key element of Texas’ energy future.” The non-profit Environment Texas Research and Policy Center also announced a plan to distribute door to door 46,000 flyers about how Texas families can go solar.

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