Texas Solar Exceeds Coal Output for the First Time - Smart Energy Decisions

Utilities, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 8, 2024

Texas Solar Exceeds Coal Output for the First Time

Texas’ solar power generation topped the state’s coal output for the first time in any month, sending 3.26 million megawatt-hours (MWh) to the grid, versus 2.96 million supplied by coal. 

In another major milestone, coal’s ERCOT market share fell below 10% to just over 9% for the first time. Coal’s decline has been ongoing for a decade, but has picked up speed since 2016-17, when solar power first started showing up on the grid.

These shifts in Texas’ power production highlight solar’s increasing role and coal’s decline.

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, solar generation in March 2024 was 1.7 million MWh more than a year ago, representing a 56% increase with no signs of slowing down. ERCOT data shows the system currently has 22,710 megawatts (MW) of operational solar capacity and is expected to expand by almost one-third by the end of 2024, as another 7,168 MW is added.

In 2025, Texas is anticipating an additional 20,932 MW of solar capacity.

Coal’s share of the ERCOT market has been falling for years. From 2003 through 2014, coal’s annual share of ERCOT demand ranged from 36% to 40% (except for a brief period of time in 2012). The decline has been rapid ever since; coal was responsible for supplying just 13.9% of the system’s total demand in 2023.


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