In the dry, sweeping plains of West Texas, wind turbines have cropped up in recent decades to meet the oil pump jacks that have long dotted the landscape. Now solar, too, is finding a home on the range.
Out there, the solar resource is “world-class,” says Charlie Hemmeline, executive director at the Texas Solar Power Association.
“But even in other places in the state, it’s very good,” Hemmeline added.
What Texas lacks in solar policy incentives — the state has no renewable portfolio standard or clean energy requirement — it makes up for with open-access transmission, a competitive energy-only market, wide swaths of land and an open-for-business attitude. Plus, electricity demand in the state is growing.