With “rapid” additions of solar in Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) territory in 2023, often co-located with storage, the shape of the daily electricity supply has noticeably changed, according to analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Wind power is still the largest source of renewable energy in Texas, but wind turbine installation slowed in 2023, EIA said. On the other hand, solar generation has increased by 35% year over year. With the new shape of Texas’ daily electricity supply, EIA expects less natural gas generation during the day (displaced by solar production), as well as in the summer when electricity demand is at its highest. However, natural gas still has its place in ERCOT when demand is high and the sun is down.

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Hourly Electric Grid Monitor
Note: ‘Other fuels’ include coal, natural gas, hydropower, and nuclear. Utility-scale solar only. Winter is the full months of December, January, and February. ERCOT=Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Natural gas generation is often used in Texas to balance changes in demand that come with the ups-and-downs of wind and solar generation. The emerging pattern is similar to the “duck curve” pattern observed in California, where the the midday dip in net load, or duck curve, is getting lower as more solar is added to the grid. Thus, natural gas generation output is usually at its greatest in Texas during the evening hours of 6 pm to 8 pm.


POWERGEN International exhibition and summit serves as an education, business and networking hub for electricity generators, utilities and solution-providers engaged in power generation. Join us from February 11-13, 2025 in Dallas, Texas!


Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Hourly Electric Grid Monitor
Note: ‘Other fuels’ include coal, natural gas, hydropower, and nuclear. Utility-scale solar only. Summer is the full months of June, July, and August. ERCOT=Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Texas’ hourly average solar generation during the winter of 2022-2023 was 1.9 GWh, and 3.3 GWh during the winter of 2023-2024. The hourly average wind generation saw a slight decrease during the same period – 13.8 GWh to 13.2 GWh. In the summer of 2022, the hourly average solar generation was 3.6 GWh and increased to 5.1 GWh by the summer of 2023. During the same period, wind generation remained the same at 11.2 GWh.

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory
Note: Estimates include operational installed generating capacity and planned capacity additions.

In 2023, installed solar in Texas totaled around 16 GW, but developers have around 24 GW of additional solar power net summer capacity in the pipeline for 2024 and 2025. During the same period, only 3 GW of wind power nameplate capacity is planned to be added. Developers are also planning to add 13 GW of battery storage by 2025, and 3 GW of natural gas capacity over the next two years.

This post appeared first on Power Engineering.