Solar Incentives Continue To Spread Among Texas Utilities

According to Steve Wiese, Clean Energy Associates, seven out of nine Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) in Texas are currently running solar PV programs.

“These programs, combined with programs in two of the largest municipal service territories, provide incentives to more than half of all Texas electricity customers. In addition to providing customers with an opportunity to increase their home’s energy efficiency and contribute to our state’s energy independence, these programs are vital in developing a successful PV industry and training Texas’s workforce to compete in a today’s economy,” said Wiese.

According to Steve, all seven programs have seen remarkable activity across the state. Oncor, which runs the largest of the IOU programs, has committed $9.8 million in incentives to date, funding 420 PV projects throughout its service territory. Over 140 companies have signed up to work with the program, 83 of which have reserved funding for projects, and 65 have completed projects. The other utilities – Entergy, TNMP, El Paso Electric, AEP-TNC, AEP-TCC, and SWEPCO – all run two-year pilot programs which are smaller in scope, but have produced considerable activity in their service areas. Entergy has committed $536,287 to 23 projects in east Texas. TNMP committed all of its $180,000 of funding for 2009 and 2010 after only 5 months of program activity. All three of AEP’s programs have seen significant interest from public entities such as cities and schools due to parallel availability of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. El Paso’s program is scheduled to launch in April, and will extend the market transformations created by these programs all the way to the western border of the state.

“ We’re looking forward to another busy summer for the Texas solar PV programs.,” Wiese added.

P.S.  During the Public Utility Commission open meeting on April 1, Oncor stated that its solar PV program had been “successful beyond its wildest dreams” and announced its intent to accelerate availability of 2011 and 2012 planned funds to the current year. Steve Wiese

Source:  TREIA March Newsletter

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