Sunny Texas and Solar Power

Michael Giberson

The Houston Chronicle reports the growing interest in Texas in still-expensive solar power:

Surely some wiseacre is on record observing that there are two things Texas has plenty of: hot air and hot sun.

But Texas may eventually have the last laugh. The state, which already leads the nation in turning wind into electricity, has quietly begun to harvest sunlight on a large scale.

Its first solar farm, an array of 215,000 photovoltaic panels that capture sun rays and turn them into power, went on line Thursday in San Antonio. Statewide, at least six more projects are in earlier stages of development.

Who ends up laughing may depend on who ends up paying for the projects. In this case the captive customers of San Antonio municipal electric company CPS Energy are on the hook for a 30 power purchase agreement. Currently solar power projects remain much more expensive than many other technologies for producing electricity.