HOUSTON - Solar capacity in Houston more than doubled last year, from 20.6 megawatts (MW) in 2018 to 42.53 MW in 2019. In a sign of a surging solar market, the increase marked the second year in a row of triple digit growth. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities 2020: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.
SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio moved up to 5th place nationally for solar energy capacity, according to the seventh edition of an annual report by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. Shining Cities 2020: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy found that solar capacity in the Alamo City increased 36% last year to a total of 254.47 megawatts (MW) within city limits. San Antonio also maintains its 1st place spot in Texas for solar within city limits and 1st in the South Central region the report has defined. The report also found that CPS Energy ranked 2nd nationally among municipally owned utilities for total solar, owned or contracted. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.
Austin Community College (ACC) announced a plan yesterday to power two campuses, ACC Round Rock and ACC Elgin, with 100 percent renewable electricity beginning in June 2020. With this announcement, ACC joins other higher education leaders in Texas such as Southwestern University and the University of North Texas in shifting to clean, renewable electricity. ACC is the first community college district in Texas to switch over some of its campuses entirely to wind and solar power. The announcement comes after Environment Texas Research and Policy Center was joined by 100 faculty in a letter in March encouraging ACC to continue its leadership by committing to transition off of fossil fuel energy.
“We applaud the city's commitment to electric vehicles, including 100% electric vehicles for its own fleet, partnering with METRO to electrify buses, and working to make 30% of new car purchases in Houston electric by 2030. The coronavirus crisis shows us that clean air is possible without so many polluting cars on the road. We don’t have to settle for dirty air again when life returns to normal.”
“I know we’re all getting used to Zoom, but were the Commissioners watching some other hearing last week?” asked Emma Pabst, Global Warming Solutions Associate with Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. “The proration hearing made strikingly clear that industry and environmentalists are united in calling for flaring cuts. Yet, the Commission voted to give out 16 more licenses to pollute today. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Environment Texas Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.