Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Skip navigation
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Skip navigation
Top navigation skipped


Texas Comptroller Energy Tour: Solar Energy Overview

Solar Energy Snapshot | Print Snapshot (PDF)


Texas has long been a leader in the energy industry; its abundance of fossil fuels and renewable sources generate electricity for the state and make substantial contributions to the Texas economy. Texas’ energy use is tied to its large population, hot climate and extensive industrial sector, and the state depends on reliable and affordable energy. One important source of energy for the state is solar.


Utilizing sunlight, solar energy converts power from the sun into thermal or electrical energy. There are two main types of solar energy technologies commonly used — photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP).1 PV systems absorb sunlight through solar panels and convert it into electrical energy. Connected PV cells are then used to boost the power output.2 CSP uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s energy to heat a high temperature fluid in a receiver that can be used to spin a turbine or power an engine to generate electricity.3 PV systems are more common than CSP systems, primarily because they are less expensive and have lower actualized construction costs.4

Inverters convert direct current electricity generated by solar panels to alternating current electricity used by the electrical grid for use in utility-scale solar or for distributed generation (e.g. rooftop solar panels). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2022, 77 percent of total solar electricity generation came from utility-scale PV power plants, while 29 percent came from small-scale PV systems and the remaining 1 percent from utility-scale solar thermal electric power plants.

Solar Energy in Texas

Solar energy boosted the state’s energy profile in 2022, contributing 6 percent of energy generation for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).5 With a significant number of sunny days, Texas’ geography enables it to be among the leading states with the greatest energy potential for solar power generation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas was the nation’s second-largest solar power producer behind only California in 2022.6

Solar generation in Texas has grown substantially over the past decade, with progressively larger solar farms being constructed and coming online, increasing the state’s solar capacity. The cumulative capacity of CSP and PV generation totaled 15 million megawatt hours (MWh) in 2021 compared to slightly more than 118,000 MWh in 2012. Year-over-year growth has also been substantial. From 2020 to 2021 alone, solar generation increased 75 percent to more than 6 million MWh (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1
Annual Texas Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Generation, 2012-2021 (MWh in millions)7

Exhibit 1 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), as of the first quarter of 2023, there were more than $21 billion in total investment in solar in Texas. Additionally, the SEIA ranks Texas first in the nation in projected solar energy growth, with more than 40,000 megawatts (MW) of added solar capacity projected during the next five years.8

According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), from 1995 to 2023, 9,469 solar-powered, electric-generating projects were completed in Texas, and another 23,686 were announced during the same period.9 The power-generating capacity of the completed projects ranges from as low as two MW to a high of 427 MW (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2
Largest Solar Electric Generating Plants in Texas by Capacity, 2023
Facility County Capacity (MW) In-Service Date
Eunice Solar Andrews 427 Sept. 2021
Prospero Solar Andrews 300 June 2020
Noble Solar Denton 279 Sept. 2022
Titan Solar Culberson 270 Nov. 2021
Taygete Solar Pecos 255 June 2021
Greasewood Solar Pecos 255 Feb. 2021
Phoebe Solar Winkler 250 Nov. 2019
Prospero Solar II Andrews 250 Sept. 2021
Galloway Solar Concho 250 Oct. 2021
Misae Solar Childress 241 Dec. 2021

Source: Public Utility Commission of Texas
Note: Data current as of January 2023.

Occupational Outlook

According to the 2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, in 2022 there were nearly 15,000 solar electric power generation jobs in Texas, representing an almost 11 percent increase from the previous year. According to Chmura, a labor and economic market research consulting and software firm, solar electric power generation jobs in Texas paid an average annual wage of more than $109,000 in 2022. That same year, solar electric power generation contributed $877.8 million to Texas’ gross domestic product.10

According to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), solar energy jobs nationwide were up in 42 states, increasing 3.5 percent from 2021 to 2022.11 In 2022, Texas ranked fourth in the U.S. for most solar jobs and has a projected employment growth of 7.5 percent for 2023.12 IREC anticipates that achieving annual benchmarks set in the IRA will require hundreds of thousands more workers to install, design, manufacture and manage clean energy projects.

Current Issues

Solar energy has great potential in Texas, but also has its challenges. In 2022, ERCOT curtailed, or reduced, 9 percent of its solar generation due to the lack of high voltage transmissions lines and energy storage in the state. Solar facilities are more abundant in West Texas where land is less costly, while East Texas lacks the infrastructure needed for proper transmission of solar generation.13 Additionally, solar is weather dependent and can be difficult to collect during cloudy and rainy days, during nighttime, and during winter when daytime is shorter. Battery storage, meaning storage of renewable energy including solar, allows renewable energy to be deployed when needed. However, battery storage is often costly and may have limited life spans.14 Recent advancements in battery storage, have allowed for higher energy density, longer storage lifespan, easier installation, and increased safety features.15 Additionally, solar energy power plants often require significant amounts of space and land. According to SEIA, utility-scale solar power plants can require 5 to 10 acres of land per MW of generating capacity, Many CSP plants require construction on flat land with less than a 1 percent slope, while utility-scale PV can utilize land with steeper slopes.16


According to the EIA, solar is the leading source of new energy-generating capacity in the United States and Texas is predicted to have a 7.7 GW increase in solar capacity in 2023.17

Solar installation projects have increased nationwide over the past decade, peaking at more than 24,000 installations in 2021 (Exhibit 3).18 Solar technology is improving, while the costs associated with solar energy, including residential, commercial and utility costs, have declined by 43 percent during the last 10 years, according to the SEIA.19

Exhibit 3
U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Installation and Price Trends
Installations Residential Commercial Utility
2010 922 $6.65 $5.92 $4.40
2011 1,945 $6.25 $5.03 $3.56
2012 3,377 $5.39 $4.37 $2.54
2013 5,084 $4.77 $3.83 $2.06
2014 6,916 $3.66 $2.42 $1.74
2015 7,842 $3.65 $2.19 $1.57
2016 15,233 $3.28 $1.83 $1.26
2017 11,107 $3.08 $1.62 $1.14
2018 10,731 $3.05 $1.55 $1.03
2019 13,539 $2.92 $1.44 $0.92
2020 19,910 $3.00 $1.37 $0.88
2021 24,109 $3.00 $1.59 $0.91
2022 21,081 $3.21 $1.66 $0.96

Source: Solar Energy Industries Association

Federal and state incentives helped facilitate significant growth in utility scale-solar power in Texas, helping to spur investment in renewable energy. Federal incentives such as the Investment Tax Credit provide a direct credit that covers a portion of investment costs for a solar project that has helped advance the energy source. The 2022 federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) extended the Investment Tax Credit for the next 10 years. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed), the Investment Tax Credit can help to create decreases in the cost of new solar projects while also increasing solar cost competitiveness in relation to other power generation types20.


Solar energy supports the growing energy demand for Texas’ increasing state’s population. Renewable energy sources in Texas are rising in use and according to the EIA, both wind and solar generation21  Advancements in solar technology, including battery storage, coupled with to produce solar power over the past decade paints a positive outlook for solar energys it has become a valuable part of the Texas’ energy portfolio.


Links are correct at the time of publication. The Comptroller's office is not responsible for external websites.

  1. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable, “How Does Solar Work?,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  2. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable, “Solar Photovoltaic Technology Basics,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  3. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable, “Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Basics?,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  4. ScienceDirect, “Cost and production of solar thermal and solar photovoltaics power plants in the United States,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  5. Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Fuel Mix Report: 2022, (Last visited Sept. 18, 2023.);
    Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Fuel Mix Report: 2007 - 2020, (Last visited Sept. 18, 2023
  6. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Texas Profile Analysis,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  7. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “EIA-923 Power Plant Operations Report, Net Generation by State by Type of Producers by Energy Source, 1990-2021,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  8. Solar Energy Industries Association “Texas Solar,” (2023) (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023)
  9. Public Utility Commission of Texas, New Electric Generating Plants in Texas since 1995, (Last visited Sept. 28, 2023.)
  10. Chmura JobsEQ
  11. Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), “Solar Jobs Census,’ (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  12. Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), “Texas: Solar and Clean Energy Jobs,” (Last visited Sept. 27, 2023.)
  13. PV Magazine, ”Texas curtailed 9% of solar generation in 2022,” (Last visited Oct. 11, 2023.)
  14. MIT Technology Review, ”The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid,” (Last visited Oct. 12, 2023.)
  15. Energy5, ”Advancements in Lithium-Ion Battery Technology for Solar Energy Storage,” (Last visited Oct. 12, 2023.)
  16. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Land Use & Solar Development,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  17. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “More than half of new U.S. electric-generating capacity in 2023 will be solar,” (Last visited Sept. 25, 2023.)
  18. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Solar Industry Research Data,” (Last visited Sept. 25, 2023.)
  19. Solar Energy Industries Association “Texas Solar,” (2023) (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023)
  20. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, “Solar lights up outlook for renewable energy in Texas,” (Last visited Sept. 12, 2023.)
  21. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “As Texas wind and solar capacity increase, energy curtailments are also likely to rise,” (Last visited Sept. 25, 2023.)