Texas launches solar trade association

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The state of Texas has launched a solar trade association.

The Texas Solar Power Association (TSPA) was announced today after a consortium of top solar companies banded together to promote the expansion of solar energy use in the state.

The founding members of E.ON, First Solar, SunPower and Recurrent Energy formed the association for all solar companies in the state of Texas, from manufacturers to distributors and installers.

Currently Texas has a growing economy and increasing energy demand, with peak energy demand matching peak solar generation. “We can put our hot Texas sun to work,” said Josh Grubaugh, TSPA president.

“Developing our state's abundant solar resource will diversify our electricity supply base, increase economic development, reduce water use, and provide long-term price stability for Texas. It just makes sense,” said Charlie Hemmeline, TSPA executive director.

Solar can provide Texas “unprecedented affordability using proven, market-ready technologies”, said Hemmeline.

Pat Wood, former Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas said: “Solar is one of the most exciting generation sources on the market, and Texas ought to be a bigger part of this exceptional growth.”

Texas should support market innovation and eliminate barriers,” for solar, he added.

A 400MW solar power project in Texas commissioned its second stage in March this year. The 400MW Alamo project is to be completed in 2016; the facility will power 10% of San Antonio homes, according to its developer, OCI Solar Power.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that there are 290 solar companies working the state of Texas, employing more than 4,000 people, and ranks Texas thirteenth nationally for installed capacity.

SEIA has also named Texas as one of the US states with the most untapped solar potential, due to the high levels of direct solar radiance (7.5kWh per square metre per day, according to the NREL), large expanses of land for development and public support for energy independence.

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