Is Solar Booming In Texas?

In recent years, solar energy has seen rapid growth in Texas. The state has become one of the nation’s leaders in installed solar capacity due to its abundant solar resources and supportive policies. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Texas currently ranks 5th in the country for cumulative installed solar capacity, with over 8,000 MW as of 2022.

This growth has accelerated in the last decade. In 2012, Texas had only 200 MW of installed solar capacity. But annual installations have skyrocketed since then, with over 2,500 MW installed in 2021 alone according to SEIA data. The Comptroller of Texas reports that solar accounted for 6% of the state’s electricity generation in 2022, up from just 0.1% in 2010.

Favorable solar policies, declining costs, and the state’s strong energy demand have driven this solar boom. Texas is now home to some of the largest solar projects in the country, and industry experts expect rapid growth to continue in the coming years.

Solar Potential in Texas

Texas has immense solar energy potential due to its location and climate. According to Wikipedia, Texas has the technical potential to generate over 22,000 TWh of electricity per year from concentrated solar power plants alone. This is more potential solar generation than any other U.S. state. Texas receives strong irradiance from the sun, with annual average daily solar radiation ranging from 4.5-6.5 kWh/m2/day across different parts of the state. West Texas and the Panhandle region have especially high solar irradiance levels. With its large land area and solar resources, Texas could generate up to 131% of its current total electricity demand solely from solar power.

Solar Policy Support

Texas has set renewable energy goals to have 5,000 MW of solar installed by 2025 through the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones.[1] While the state does not currently offer statewide solar incentives, some local and utility programs provide rebates and other benefits for installing solar panels. For example, Austin Energy offers a $2,500 rebate for solar installations.[2] Additionally, many municipalities and utilities offer net metering programs, which allow solar customers to get credit for excess energy sent back to the grid.[3] Texas also has a statewide property tax exemption for the added value solar installations bring to residential properties.

Commercial Solar Growth

Texas has experienced rapid growth in commercial solar installations in recent years. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Texas ranked #2 in the nation for commercial solar capacity installed in 2021, with over 1,300 MW added that year alone Texas Solar | SEIA. Much of this demand has been driven by major corporations seeking to power their operations with clean energy. For example, companies like Amazon, Microsoft, IKEA, Walmart and Target have all invested heavily in solar projects in Texas to help power their facilities and achieve sustainability goals.

One of the largest corporate solar deals in 2021 was a 465 MW project that will help power a new Facebook data center in Temple, TX Solar Power: Energy is Good for Texas. Other major companies contracting for solar power in the state include AT&T, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Home Depot, and Shell. This corporate demand for solar is expected to continue driving strong growth in commercial installations in Texas in the years ahead.

Residential Solar Growth

Texas has seen rapid growth in residential rooftop solar adoption in recent years. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Texas ranked 9th nationally for cumulative solar capacity installed through the second quarter of 2022, with over 4,400 MW of rooftop solar capacity (SEIA). This represents a 35% increase from the previous year.

Much of this growth has been concentrated in major metro areas like Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio. For example, Austin Energy’s residential solar program has expanded from 1.5 MW of installed capacity in 2014 to over 88 MW by the end of 2021 – a massive 5800% increase in just 7 years (Texas Comptroller). The suburbs surrounding these cities have also seen solar adoption grow exponentially.

There are several factors driving the rooftop solar boom in Texas. Firstly, decreasing costs have made solar more affordable for homeowners. Secondly, ample sunshine and hot summers create strong electricity demand, which rooftop solar can help meet. Thirdly, some municipalities and utilities offer rebates, loans and other incentives for residential solar. Finally, pro-solar policies in cities like Austin have encouraged solar-friendly building codes and permitting processes.

With solar installation costs continuing to fall and electricity rates rising, projections suggest robust continued growth in rooftop solar across Texas, especially in urban and suburban areas where there is strong solar potential.

Solar Job Creation

The solar industry has fueled significant job growth in Texas as more companies expand operations in the state. According to, there were over 1,000 open solar jobs in Texas as of February 2023. Positions ranged from solar installers and technicians to consultants, sales representatives, and management roles.

The solar consultant job market looks especially strong in Texas. A recent search on showed over 200 open solar consultant positions across the state, with companies like Tesla, Sunrun, Freedom Forever, and others all hiring. The median salary for a solar consultant in Texas is $47,725 according to Indeed salary data.

solar consultant jobs are booming in texas

For entry level roles, Texas has seen growth in solar installer positions to keep up with residential and commercial project installation. There are over 150 open solar installer jobs in Texas paying $15-$25 per hour. These roles provide on-the-job training and opportunities to advance in the industry.

Major solar companies are driving job growth by locating operations centers and offices in Texas metro areas like Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Top solar employers are anticipated to continue expanding their workforces in the state as the Texas solar market grows.

Citations: Solar Jobs in Texas

Solar Jobs in Texas – Indeed

Key Solar Companies

Texas is home to several major solar companies that provide installation and financing services for residential and commercial customers across the state.[1] Some of the top players include:

SunPower – Founded in 1985, SunPower is one of the most experienced solar companies operating in Texas and nationally. They provide high-efficiency solar panels and full-service installation and monitoring.[2]

Freedom Solar – Based in Austin, Freedom Solar focuses on customized solar systems including off-grid configurations. They have installed over 60 megawatts of solar capacity in Texas since 2007.[3]

ADT Solar – ADT expanded into solar energy in 2021, leveraging their experience with home security systems. They provide solar panel installation and financing options for Texas homeowners.

Tesla – Tesla Energy offers their Solar Roof and Powerwall battery storage products in Texas. Their integrated solar roof tiles and batteries provide household energy independence.

Trinity Solar – Based in Dallas, Trinity Solar serves residential and commercial markets across Texas. They focus on streamlined installations and comprehensive warranties.

Future Solar Outlook

Projections indicate that solar power will continue expanding substantially in Texas over the coming years and decades.

According to the EIA, Texas is predicted to have 7.7 GW of solar capacity additions from 2022 to 2023, representing over one-fifth of forecasted new solar capacity in the United States. Texas currently ranks 5th in the nation for installed solar capacity and is quickly climbing the ranks.

By 2035, EIA projects Texas will have over 30 GW of utility-scale solar capacity. Combined wind and solar capacity in Texas is expected to double by 2035 as well, fueling a growing renewable share of the state’s generation mix.

The Texas Comptroller predicts the state will add 16 GW of solar capacity from 2022-2026. This growth trajectory would make Texas a top 3 state for solar capacity by 2026. The Comptroller cites declining solar costs and supportive policies as key drivers enabling this sunny outlook.

While future projections can change based on policy, economics, and technology trends – the overall message is clear. Solar power is poised to keep booming in the Lone Star State for years to come.

Challenges Facing Solar

While solar power has great potential in Texas, there are some key obstacles holding back more widespread adoption across the state. According to an article on the EDPR website, the main challenges include legislative hurdles, widespread misinformation about renewable energy, and the politicization of energy resources (source).

The state legislature has put in place limits and regulations that restrict solar growth, such as not allowing power purchase agreements (PPAs) that enable easier financing of rooftop solar installations. There is also a lack of policy support for community solar projects that would open up solar access. Misinformation painting solar as unreliable has made some municipalities hesitant to embrace it more widely. And the highly partisan divide in Texas politics has turned energy into a divisive issue instead of focusing on pragmatic solutions.

According to an analysis on PV Tech, challenges around permitting and grid integration also impact solar in Texas (source). Complex permitting processes can slow down and even halt promising solar projects. And more needs to be done to modernize the grid and transmission infrastructure to handle increasing renewable energy capacity.


In summary, solar energy has seen impressive growth in Texas over the past decade and has significant potential for further expansion. Texas is an ideal location for solar generation due to its abundant sunshine and land availability. Supportive state policies, falling solar costs, and strong consumer demand have driven increases in commercial and residential solar installations across the state. Solar jobs have surged as major national and international solar companies have established substantial operations in Texas. While some challenges remain, the future is bright for the solar industry in Texas. With its vast solar resources and supportive business climate, Texas is positioned to be a nationwide leader in solar energy.

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