Everything's Bigger In Texas, Except Its Solar Plans

Texas is about to approve a $500 million solar subsidy plan that spans 5 years mandating that the state get 3,000 MW of energy from renewable sources that aren’t wind, the WSJ reports.

The state already leads the nation in wind power with 7,118 MW produced versus 2,791 MW for second place competitor, Iowa. The 7,118 MW it produces is well above the state’s 5,000 MW wind mandate. The hope in the state is that the new bill will spur a growth in their solar manufacturing in Texas.

The $500 million will come from electric bills, but consumers can install panels on their roofs and sell excess energy to utilities, to offset an increase in prices. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s a deal for consumers, as:

The bill requires that utilities purchase surpluses at a “fair market price,” which can be 20% less than the going rate for retail electricity.

As big and expensive as the move is, it doesn’t make Texas the renewable leader in the country, just yet. The Journal points out,

A new Arizona law requires that 4.5% of its electricity come from solar power by 2025, and New Mexico is aiming for 4% by 2020. California is considering a requirement that the state get 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

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