top of page

Tropical Storm Harold Hits Texas!

Harold made landfall as a tropical storm just before 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) on Padre Island, Texas, with sustained winds of 50 mph and gusts as high as 67 mph, becoming the first storm to come ashore in the United States in the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

The center of the storm is about 15 miles east of Laredo, Texas, and will continue moving into northern Mexico over the next few hours.

Heavy rain and strong winds will continue to slam portions of southern Texas and Mexico as Harold tracks westward. Those winds had knocked out power to around 20,000 customers in Texas as of Tuesday evening, according to Luckily many Texans are converting to solar power with home battery systems because of their life saving potential and superior reliability than trusting the power companies that have gouged customers in previous emergencies at every opportunity. As demand for power continues to grow and summers keep getting hotter, solar and other renewable energy sources are becoming more significant parts of Texas' grid, according to ERCOT and Texas energy specialists. Hurricane Hilary hit the West coast only a few days ago now Harold is causing floods and tornadoes on its trek.

Texas has the largest solar resource in the U.S., a growing electricity demand, peak energy needs, persistent drought, and urban air quality constraints. Solar power offers high-value electric supply, unprecedented affordability, zero fuel costs, supply diversity, regional economic development, rapid deployment, zero emissions, very low water use, and nearly universal public support among Texans. Only power companies, morons, and compromised politicians oppose it.

Sunshine is a powerful natural resource throughout Texas and Texans have more of it than any other state in the U.S. (even Florida) It is a non-depletable energy reservoir that could generate billions of dollars of new revenue in Texas every year in solar electric generation output and related products and services. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the technical potential for solar photovoltaics (PV) in Texas is providing high-value electric generation in energy markets around the world and is making an impact in Texas. The U.S. installed 13,300 MW of solar PV in 2019, representing 40% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line. Through May 2020, Texas has installed more than 4,000 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking 5th nationally. (Source: Wood Mackenzie/SEIA: U.S. Solar Market Insight®) With another 7,000 MW of solar projects under construction or in late-stage development covering every region of the state, solar is on track to comprise 20% of ERCOT peak generating capacity by 2025.

The solar industry is a strong source of statewide and regional economic development and jobs. Beyond solar-specific manufacturers and integrators, investment in solar power benefits a wide supply chain of traditional industries including glass, steel, aluminum, construction, and finance. Lease payments to solar site landowners, local property taxes, sales tax, and spending during construction all help to support local communities.

The solar industry employs over 14,000 full and part-time workers in Texas. (Source: The Solar Foundation – National Solar Jobs Census 2019) The solar workforce includes jobs in project development, sales, installation, operations & maintenance, and other fields. Additionally, traditional industries such as construction and electrical product manufacturing are now adding new solar revenue streams to existing business lines. With the expected growth in new solar capacity, Texas has tremendous potential for additional solar job growth. Nationally, the US solar industry employs almost 250,000 workers as of November 2019, up 167% since 2010 and it is expected to grow another 500% by 2030.

bottom of page