There’s a neighborhood in Austin, Texas where the refrigerators tell stories. The roofs are paved in solar panels. There are more electric cars per capita here in the Mueller community than in any residential neighborhood in America. It’s a kind of paradise and it could drive you nuts.
In most markets, rooftop solar panels are promoted as a way for electric utility customers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel power and — eventually — save money on their electric bill. According to a new PSR Analytics report from Texas-based energy research firm Pecan Street Research Institute, residential solar systems, and particularly west-facing rooftop systems, may also act as a fairly impactful peak demand reduction device for utilities struggling to meet afternoon demand in hot summer months.