New report ranks San Antonio No. 1 in Texas for solar power

San Antonio, a ‘Solar Superstar,’ ranked No. 5 in the nation

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) (Mary Altaffer, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – A new report by the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center ranked San Antonio No. 1 in Texas and No. 5 in the nation for solar energy, maintaining its position from last year.

The report, “Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy,” designated San Antonio a “Solar Superstar” — which means it has 100 or more watts of solar photovoltaic capacity installed per capita. Today, San Antonio has 354.9 megawatts of solar capacity total — approximately 247.4 watts per person. Its capacity has increased 39% since 2020.

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With the increase, local solar energy companies like Big Sun Solar have also seen a more than 500% increase in business in the past three years.

The city of San Antonio’s stated goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with the city offering a Bring Solar Home platform for local residents to learn more about their solar options.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the city has prioritized establishing clear goals through the San Antonio Climate Ready Plan to bring solar power to the city, and plans to keep rolling out measures that help residents easily access solar power.

According to Environment Texas, CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan, which has invested $153 million in solar power since 2009, has been one key factor in San Antonio’s solar adoption success.

Rudy Garza, interim president and CEO of CPS Energy, noted how solar capacity in San Antonio continues to soar.

“The (Solar Superstar) designation speaks volumes about the work we have done as a community to make San Antonio a leader in the clean energy space,” Garza said.

But Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, said that San Antonio is setting the pace statewide when it comes to solar adoption, and the “Solar Superstar” designation shows how much progress Texas has made in the past few years.

The report also noted that the United States as a whole now has 121.4 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity installed, which is enough solar energy to power more than 23 million homes. Environment Texas Research and Policy Center also found that 15 major U.S. cities have seen a tenfold increase in solar capacity in the past seven years.

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

Read the full story on San Antonio Business Journal.

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