Installed Solar Capacity in North Texas

July 29, 2015
Session W4A: Regional Success Stories and Futures
2:45 pm  -  3:45 pm

“How many solar PV installations exist in your geographic area of interest? This question plagued the North Texas Renewable Energy Group. NREL’s OpenPV project did not provide a comprehensive answer. The distributed energy provider (Oncor) could not adequately answer the question. It was not until we gathered actual data by approaching the cities in North Texas with Open Records Requests for permitted solar PV installations that we were able to answer the question with a comprehensive data set.

We now have a GIS data set which can not only allow tracking for future growth, enable an overlay of real estate pricing data now and into the future, but also allow the possible replication of findings such as those presented by Marcello Graziano and Kenneth Gillingham in their “Spatial patterns of solar photovoltaic system adoption: the influence of neighbors and the built environment” article appearing in the Journal of Economic Geography.

We would like to present our findings and convey how others can obtain this information for their geographic areas of interest. The area we are referring to as “North Texas” encompasses an area larger than the states of Connecticut and Delaware combined and a population of more than 6.5 million people, or approximately the population of Indiana or Tennessee.

In sum, we found over 2,000 solar installations in North Texas, where the headquarters of ExxonMobil can also be found. This Open Records Request effort can and should be modeled and replicated in other locations.”