Texas Is Expected to Have Almost Half of Its Power to Come from Renewables by End of 2024

Texas experienced record-breaking electricity demand this summer due to population growth and scorching temperatures. However, the reliability and consistency of utility-scale solar power played a crucial role in ensuring the grid’s smooth operation during peak demand periods.

From June 15 to September 15, 2023, which marks Texas’s highest power consumption period, solar energy consistently contributed more than 10% of peak electric demand on 91 out of 93 days. Solar energy provided between 10% and 16% of electricity during peak hours, averaging 13.8% over this period, despite peak demand hours occurring later in the day when solar generation typically decreases.

Solar generation during the peak-demand months of July and August has seen remarkable growth. In 2019, solar provided just over 500,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of power in each of these months, while this year, it delivered over 3.9 million MWh each month, accounting for about 8% of electricity needs, primarily during daylight hours.

With soaring temperatures this summer, Texas set ten new demand records, with the latest on August 10 requiring 85,464 megawatts (MW), up 6.6% from the previous record in July 2022. On this day, solar generation produced 10,435MW, almost half of the additional power needed. Wind generation also increased significantly, contributing to 85% of the additional power required.

The summer also highlighted the importance of battery storage, with installed capacity growing from less than 300MW in 2020 to over 3,500MW by this year. Battery storage played a critical role in stabilizing the grid on September 10, preventing potential rolling blackouts.

ERCOT anticipates that around 10,000MW of storage capacity will commence commercial operations by June 2024, with the majority co-located with solar facilities. Additionally, almost 7,000MW of new solar capacity is expected online by the same date. 

As solar, and wind now make up a larger share of Texas power generation, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that close to half of the state’s power will come from clean sources by the end of next year.

Information for this story was found via ERCOT, X, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply