Solar Policy Update 87(R) Legislative Session

Texas Capitol Dome

If it’s an odd-numbered year, the Texas legislature is in session. A confluence of clamor and mayhem with thousands of bills filed (more than 7,000 this session), each session has its own unique personality.

Back in July 2020, State Comptroller Glen Hegar projected a $4.6 billion deficit by August 2021. But in January, Hegar reduced this estimated deficit to $946 million, citing underestimated gains in tax receipts from online sales. And while better than the original $4.6 billion deficit prediction, a $946 million deficit is still painful, especially when pre-COVID, Hegar predicted an almost $3 billion surplus.

Then February happened.

The near-collapse of the state’s electric grid changed everything. A flurry of energy bills was filed.

We’re tracking a list of renewable energy bills, all of which will impact solar in Texas. We’ve included the companion versions and legislators so you can reach out and voice your opinion.

To keep up with bill status, click here. Under search legislation, select word/phrase or bill number.

For

HB 1607 (Darby) and SB 1325 (Hinojosa) to invest in additional transmission lines to bring wind and solar power to our cities.

HB 3795 (Button, Guillen) and SB 1029 (Huffman) relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation for certain solar or wind-powered energy devices

HB 3978 (Crockett; enabling legislation to HJR 144) Relating to a credit against the ad valorem taxes imposed on property on which certain solar energy devices have been installed.
HJR 144 Proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to provide for a credit against the ad valorem taxes imposed on property on which a solar energy device has been installed based on the cost of acquiring and installing the device.

SB 398 (Menéndez) and HB 3696 (Deshotel) adopting a Solar Customer Protection Act to make it easier for Texans to go solar. Prevents municipalities from discriminating against street-facing solar installations.

SB 1303 (Blanco) and HB 4120 (Deshotel) to modify the Clean School Bus program to prioritize electric buses and directing the Public Utility Commission to adopt rules to remove barriers for schools to install charging infrastructure, solar and batteries.

Against

SB 1255 (Birdwell) to discriminate against wind and solar energy in Chapter 313 economic development program.

SB 1256 (Birdwell) to discriminate against wind and solar energy in Chapter 312 property tax abatements.

SB 1278 (Hancock) to discriminate against wind and solar in the ERCOT market.