Texas has graduated to the big time as a solar state. attracting one of the country’s largest residential installers to start operating there.
Sunrun will serve as a solar provider first in Houston before it expands into the rest of the Lone Star State, though other cities are not far behind. The company says it plans to expand its service area in months, not years.
“Solar is a win-win for Texas,” said Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun. “Texas homeowners benefit from solar costs being at an all-time low giving them greater control over their energy, and all Texans win from solar energy’s ability to contribute to the grid clean renewable energy when temperatures are at their highest and so is demand for energy.”
The company will combine its solar offerings, along with a 20-year net-metering agreement, with ENGIE Resources’ residential retail energy company, Think Energy. Texas’ Sunrun customers will pay Think Energy for the energy they produce, which will allow them to use virtual net metering to earn those credits.
While net metering is presently a common incentive for solar consumers in other states, Texas does not have a statewide net metering program, leaving such arrangements to individual utilities and companies like Sunrun. SolarCity is already offering such a program in the state.
What makes Sunrun’s deal with Think Energy interesting is that the net metering agreement is guaranteed for 20 years, which the company claims is the first time such an arrangement has been done. pv magazine can find no evidence to disprove the claim.
“We know well the power of the sun in Texas and are excited to create a new option for homeowners in Houston and other Texas cities who will benefit from this deal,” said John Henderson, head of Think Energy. “Combining rooftop solar with, when needed, grid power at a transparent, fixed rate is a great demonstration of our commitment to make it easy for customers to integrate renewable energy into their daily lives.”