The $1.35 million- installation, designed and installed by Meridian Solar, will generate about one-quarter of the building’s total energy needs. CPS Energy, one of the nation’s largest municipally owned energy company, will distribute excess electrical power.
“Texas should be a prime location for solar, but it currently generates a relatively small amount of solar energy”, said Bob Sohn, senior advisor for Pearl planning. “Our hope is that our solar partnership with CPS Energy will serve to encourage further development of solar projects in Texas”.
It might be needed. The Texas legislature failed to pass the bulk of legislation intended to promote solar energy this session. Texas had 69 alternative energy bills to consider of which 50 supported the solar industry. Only a bill that will enable homeowners to pay for solar installations using government funds passed. The state also killed a bill that would have created a statewide rebate program for solar panels. The bill that had strong support from both parties failed on a procedural point.
The solar array at Pearl Brewery is so far the largest solar project in the state. But not for long, in March the Austin City Council decided to spend $250 million on building a solar facility in Webberville east of Austin. The plant, that is scheduled to start operating by the end of 2010, will be the biggest solar facility in the US.