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The Texas grid is evolving and leaving fossil fuels behind

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 722 items added with 352,297 views
  • Jan 4, 2021

Texas may not be your typical bellwether when it comes to renewable energy; however, the latest news from its state energy grid does provide insight into what is a rising floor in renewable energy reliance. 

According to a release from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the state's electricity grid, the grid is predicted to see significant increases in generation reserves over the next five years. Now, that sounds good, but the real rub is this increase is owed almost entirely to increased investment in solar power—not oil and gas. 

The state had recently seen drops in generation reserves due to coal plant retirements. Now, solar is picking up the slack and is posied to put Texas in a good position into the middle of this decade. By summer 2021, available capacity is predicted at 5,620 MW—816 MW of gas-fired resources, 1,765 MW from wind power and a whopping 3,039 MW from utility-scale solar. By summer 2022, an additional 9,273 MW of solar is expected to be added. 

Generation reserves by next summer expect to be at 15.5%, up from 12.6 in 2020. Between 2022 and 2025, generation reserves are expected to be up to 25-27%. 

The Texas grid is clearly evolving and renewable resources, especially solar, are carrying more weight. Again, maybe Texas is not the bellwether, but they are a good indicator of a rising floor in renewable reliance. 

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