Texas continues adding jobs to solar energy market

As natural gas prices hit highs, the price for solar energy goes up.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Texas has been adding jobs in the solar energy market as energy bills increase at fast rates.

Wes Reeves, a spokesperon for Xcel energy, said one reason rates are higher is due to the increase in the price of natural gas. He added this increase makes the price in surpluses of solar energy increase as well.

Inflation plays a role as well, with consumer prices more than nine percent compared to last year. The record inflation rates accompany the record heat in Amarillo and across Texas.

“There are a lot of reasons why someone would want to look at solar for their rooftop, whether they want to try to save money or make a little money, or maybe it’s just a lifestyle choice. They just want to do something good for the environment,” Reeves said.

Texas ranks fifth in the nation for the total number of solar jobs with more than 10,000 employed by the industry.

Reeves said investment in solar panels is a choice companies and individuals are increasingly making, but that figuring out the finance side of it can be difficult and is an important decision.

“We can kind of help you understand the economics of the rates you’re paying and the rates you might get paid for surplus electricity,” Reeves said.

Reeves added the surplus energy is not bought by Xcel for wholesale prices, and that paying off the large investment takes years. He said the company aims reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030, and to find out information on adding solar panels to Xcel’s website has more information.

“It’s through our rooftop solar webpage, and you can click on a table that shows you what that cost is,” Reeves said.

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