Rooftop solar grows in Houston

Source: 
Houston Chronicle

Solar panels on a conainter office built by RISE Industries on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle ) Solar panels on a conainter office built by RISE Industries on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Elizabeth Conley, Chronicle Photo: Elizabeth Conley, Chronicle Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Rooftop solar grows in Houston 1 / 1 Back to Gallery

Rooftop solar power continues to spread in Houston, and last year increased by 19 percent, according to research by Environment Texas, an environmental advocacy group.

Houston has 9.5 megawatts of solar power -- one megawatt is enough to power 200 homes on a hot Texas day. That means the city ranks 34th for total solar power capacity in the U.S. among 69 cities studied in the Environment Texas report.

But Houston is far behind other Texas cities like San Antonio, which ranked sixth with 161 megawatts of solar power. Los Angeles, with 349 megawatts, ranked first.

The solar industry has been slower to grow in Houston and Texas than elsewhere, partly because of the state's lack of tax incentives, although some cities, such as San Antonio and Austin, have their own incentive programs.

But utility-scale solar has begun to grow rapidly in West Texas, where solar capacity is expected to rise from around 1,000 megawatts to 3,000 megawatts by 2022."

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