Saturday, December 24, 2016

Solar Power Generation in Texas: Starting Small But Watch Out

Utility scale solar power generation in the lone star state is just beginning to register on the dashboard.
Here's the hourly generation profile as reported by ERCOT, for the last six weeks.  Peak output over the period is about 450 MW:

The natural gas equivalent of that generation, roughly speaking, has been between 0.7 and 0.22 BCF for an entire EIA week, as shown below.  That doesn't sound like much, but with significant capacity additions in the works, and the example of ERCOT wind generation, the potential is there to grow significantly and quickly.  And while solar and natural gas fired power are considered good marriage partners, it isn't a marriage of equals.  Solar takes the prime cut of daily power generation during the summer.