Solar energy to help Texas homeowners keep electric costs down this summer
With Texas expected to confront a tight electric supply, low reserves and higher electricity rates this summer, residential solar installations and greater use of the clean energy overall would lead to lower wholesale electricity prices across the state.
The report, conducted by The Brattle Group, studied how electricity prices would have been impacted last year had more photovoltaic installations been factored in. The results showed more solar electricity would have saved homeowners up to $281 per megawatt hour. Altogether, the total benefits of more solar installations would have been valued at more than $250 million.
Pat Wood, former chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said solar energy is a wise choice for residents throughout the state.
"Texas needs more on-peak capacity," Wood said. "Solar delivers on peak, it doesn't use water and it doesn't create any smog pollution. It is increasingly affordable, competing favorably with other peak-of-the-day resources."
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in 2011, Texas was ranked 9th in terms of the number of solar installations, but slipped to 15th in the first quarter of 2012.