Texas, already the US state with the largest wind power capacity, is about to catch up with California in full-scale solar capacity. California is the state that currently has the most installed solar energy capacity in the US.
According to reports from the EIA Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory survey, Texas will add 10 gigawatts (GW) of full-scale solar capacity by the end of 2022, compared to 3.2 GW in California.
One-third of the large-scale solar capacity projected to come online in the United States in the next two years (30 GW) will be in Texas.
The federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that is available to project developers is driving some of the anticipated solar growth.
Other factors driving solar investment in Texas include lower solar technology costs and abundant sunlight, particularly in the Permian Basin of West Texas, where approximately 30% of the state’s planned solar capacity will be built.
Additionally, because solar generation is higher in the middle of the day when wind generation is typically less, available transmission lines that already handle a large amount of wind power in the state have helped pave the way for additions of Record-breaking planned solar capacity.
Although wind capacity in Texas has grown rapidly in recent years, solar power is expected to make up the majority of the state’s capacity additions between 2020 and 2022.
Nearly half of the additions during this period will be solar, surpassing wind power (35%) and natural gas additions (13%).