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Growing Solar in Texas

My name is Mark Witte. I’m reaching out to all of you on behalf of the North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG), which is the DFW Metroplex chapter of the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) and American Solar Energy Society.


The Texas electrical grid is antiquated, inflexible, overly dependent on a few large thermal generating facilities, and vulnerable to blackouts and to catastrophic failure. Installing solar energy systems where the electricity would be used would make the grid more sustainable, reliable, and resilient. This would avoid the inadequate transmission line capacity stymying many new industrial solar farm developments.


TXSES has determined, from numerous meetings with different groups of solar energy industry professionals, that the most impactful initiative to advance solar energy in Texas, and to improve the grid, is to dramatically increase the number of distributed solar energy systems.


A goal has been established to double the number of distributed solar energy systems by 2030. (Distributed solar energy systems are the systems installed on residences, or small business installations).


There are approximately 300,000 existing distributed solar energy systems in Texas. Adding 300,000 new systems in seven years means about 43,000 new systems per year statewide, or almost 3,600 per month.  


The DFW Metroplex area is home to approximately 22% of the state population. So NTREG’s proportionate share of the statewide goal is 66,000 new systems, which equates to about 9,400 annually or 786 monthly. Considering the wealth of the DFW area relative to other areas of the state, it’s reasonable to round up the number of new systems in the DFW area to 800 monthly or 9,600 annually.  


Obviously, the more like-minded organizations and individuals engaged in an initiative, the greater the chances of achieving the initiative goals. Consider it strength through cooperation. I have reached out to the local Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and Solar United Neighbors, and those organizations have agreed to help. I’m requesting help from the Climate Reality Project members on this initiative, which can be used as a model for cooperation on other projects. 


Are y’all willing to help? 


Mark H. Witte

NTREG Board Chair

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