The Solar Reflector
N ewsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society - August 2018

Solar is for Everyone!

We need your support to pro- mote clean, safe, locally harvested solar power for all Texans.

Individual memberships start
 at $25

 Solar Events on the Horizon 


The American Solar Energy Society's
47th National Conference and Summit, University of Colorado, Boulder.
August 5-8

The Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG) and the Green Building Resource Center.
August 11

Join North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG) for their monthly meeting in Dallas.
August 11

The Houston Green Building Resource Center hosts Charlie Hemmeline from the Texas Solar Power Association.
August 22 

Join Solar Austin for their monthly Happy Hour. Info will be posted online later in the month.
August 28

This premier solar event goes back to Anaheim, CA for 2018.
September 24-27

TXSES, Bluebonnet Electric Coop and Solar Austin host their third annual tour, this year based in Manor, TX.
September 29 

NTREG hosts their 9th Solar Tour, the third largest solar tour in the nation. Do not miss this tour if you live in North Texas! Solar on homes, businesses, community centers, the story on electric vehicles and so much more.
October 13

The Texas Renewable Energy Alliance (TREIA) Annual Conference, Georgetown, TX.
October 21-23

Build San Antonio Green & their Bring Solar Home program host the 18th Annual Solar Fest in HemisFair Park. A great party!
November 17

There are more events to check out on our TXSES 

Thank You 
EarthShare Texas for your collaboration with H-E-B and Reliant Energy

We are fortunate to be one of 41  environmental organizations under the EarthShare Texas umbrella that benefit from H-E-B's April tearpad campaign and the  Reliant Energy EcoShare . If you contribute to EarthShare Texas in your workplace, tore off a coupon in April at the H-E-B checkout counter or you are a Reliant customer contributing to EcoShare- t hank you!

TXSES is a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society

ASES  has been shining a light on the solution since 1954.  Become a member of ASES and receive Solar Today Magazine and more!
Chair's Corner
Micah Jasuta
Welcome to the summer edition of the Solar Reflector. I would like to thank everyone involved with another incredible Cool House Tour and give a huge shout-out to all of our volunteers who made the tour run so smoothly. We are grateful for your time and energy and for being a part of such a fun tradition.

Solar is going mainstream as more PV is installed across the globe. I have seen solar panels featured in movies, on TV, in video games, and in more and more advertisements. While this growth is exciting, there is a downside to ubiquity.

Many of us have seen suspicious ads or received spam sales calls for residential solar systems. "Free solar panels!" "No cost solar program!" "New government rebates! Enter your zip code to see if you qualify."   Read More

Another Successful Austin Cool House Tour

By Lucy Stolzenburg, TXSES Executive Director

Since the mid 1990s, the Texas Solar Energy Society has partnered with Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) for the Cool House Tour. The self-guided tour presents the latest examples of sustainable and energy efficient design and construction for the hot and humid Central Texas climate.
Though this isn't specifically a solar tour, it always features several solar installations. This year, our twenty-second, six of the eight homes and projects were solar powered. Three remodeled homes proved you don't always need to tear down an old house, and one highlighted the challenges and rewards of making a historic home energy efficient and comfortable.   Read More

New Study Answers the Question, "What Is Grid Resilience?"


By Rama Zakaria and Michael Panfil, Environmental Defense Fund

Whether or not our electric grid is "resilient" and what, if anything, should be done to make it more so, has been a topic of intense scrutiny in the past year.
The stakes in this debate reached new dimensions last fall with a highly controversial proposal by Sec. Rick Perry and the US Department of Energy (DOE), which claimed that the premature retirement of uneconomic coal and nuclear plants threaten the resilience of the electric grid.
DOE's flawed proposal - to bail out these plants through a profit-guarantee mechanism - was considered and unanimously rejected in January by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency charged with overseeing our nation's electric grid. DOE's proposal, in short, was an incredibly bad idea.   Read More

Becoming TXSES


By Ron Zagarri, TXSES

How remarkable to reflect that the Texas Solar Energy Society got its start forty-two years ago. Most of us can barely recall what we had for lunch yesterday, let alone imagine what the solar industry must have been like back then.
An odd series of events led me to wonder about those early days and to conduct some research into the issues TXSES faced and the technologies that were prominent then. How were things different? How are they the same?
Not long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Bob King, an important force in getting TXSES off the ground by bringing together a number of like-minded individuals.
This was the autumn of 1976...   Read More
Dear Reader

If you, or someone you know, has a compelling solar story to tell, we would like to hear from you. Please contact our editor at
TXSES Solar Stories. Thank you.

The Solar Reflector is a publication of the
Texas Solar Energy Society

Promoting clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy  for every Texan.

As an education-focused   nonprofit, we work to bring solar energy to all Texans via rooftop or community photovoltaics and passive solar design. Sunlight can sustain our communities by delivering inexhaustible, pollution-free, and affordable energy that conserves water and creates good-paying jobs.

Board Officers
Micah Jasuta - Chair (Austin)
Ron Zagarri - Vice Chair (Austin)
Paul Gonin -  Treasurer (Georgetown)
Katherine Searcy - Secretary (Austin)
Board Members at Large
Richard Behlmann (Katy)
John Gardner (Brenham)
Amy Olsen (Bastrop)
Mark Witte (Richardson)
Chapter Representatives to the Board
Sue Klein - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
Leslie Libby - Solar Austin 
Rosa Orenstein - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)
Kate Rodriguez/Jacob Eyer - Build San Antonio Green/Bring Solar Home
Executive Director  - Lucy Stolzenburg 
Solar Reflector Editor - Ron Zagarri 
Solar Reflector Copy Editor - Sarah Weber 

Thanks to Our Platinum and Gold Level Supporters
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Visit for a list of all our business supporters. We thank all of our members, both business and individual, for supporting our mission to promote clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy for every Texan.