Nonprofit utilities in Texas (Municipally Owned Utilities and Electric Cooperatives) are uniquely positioned to advance solar in their service regions due to a permissive regulatory environment, their ability to swiftly deploy innovative services, their responsiveness to customer demand, and their alignment with local energy or environmental policy goals. In fact, Texas nonprofit utilities are some of the state’s first solar movers and have been actively pursuing innovative solar efforts such as CPS Energy’s Solar Host San Antonio pilot program, Mid-South Synergy’s community solar installations, and Austin Energy’s efforts to offer solar to low-income populations.
These, and other Texas, municipally owned utilities (munis) and electric cooperatives (co-ops) are developing solar because it makes sense. Texas is blessed with an abundance of solar radiance. The cost of solar energy is approaching (and in some cases has met!) cost parity with other energy sources due to falling hardware costs and incentives. Because of these geographic and economic reasons, Texas munis and co-ops are primed to help their customers benefit from cost-competitive and reliable solar electricity.
Below are resources to better understand utilities’ motivations for pursuing solar, types of solar projects, and means of financing solar. Additionally, community solar guidelines and case studies highlight best practices, successes, and provide guidance on how to continue expanding solar across Texas.
This toolbox contains resources to better understand utilities' motivations for pursuing solar, types of solar projects, regulatory requirements, and means of financing solar.
Here you will find case studies on utility solar projects throughout Texas that showcase their facilities, programs, realized benefits, and stakeholer interactions.
Although regulatory requirements for nonprofit utilities are few, utilities should be aware of interconnection and registration requirements associated with distributed generation (DG).
Community solar is one way to improve citizens' accessibility to solar energy. The following resources provide an overview of community solar, its benefits, and current community solar programs in Texas.
Utilities can make solar accessible to their customers by encouraging customers to install rooftop systems via financial incentives or by selling customers solar electricity generated from a utility-scale solar system.