Solar Events on the Horizon
NTREG meets the second Saturday of the month.
April 14-CIty of Garland Earth Day
April 14-Louisville Coloralooza
May 18-Solar Energy Training
May 10-Smart, Progressive and Renewable City-SPARC Party!
Nov 17-Solar Fest
Solar Austin meets the fourth Tuesday of the month.
They have an active Solar Car Kits for Kids program, teaching young students about solar power.
HREG meets on the third Tuesday of the month.
April 8-Solarize Houston
April 27-Solar Energy System Workshop
May 5- Solar 101 for High School Students
Perhaps the most important thing the first Solar Reflector of 2018 should accomplish is to thank you sincerely for reading. This newsletter is an important aspect of the TXSES mission: promoting clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy for every Texan. However, it is only effective in the first place because of our members' concern and involvement. So I thank each of you for reading and for your support.
From personal experience, I know the Solar Reflector readership is a diverse group. We vary in background, age, ethnicity, profession, opinions, and beliefs. Yet we are bound by the common thread of our support of solar energy, which stitches us together like a patchwork quilt.
For some of us, solar is our livelihood -- professionals working each day to create a solar-powered future. For others it's a hobby pursued in our free time, often for no financial gain, fueled by passion. For many, solar is an important investment made for our homes and businesses.
Texas PUC to Address Distributed Energy Resources
By Robert King,
Good Company Associates
Following a century of electric grids based exclusively on large, centralized power plants and the one-way flow of energy, a growing array of innovative, on-site or localized energy resources are finally available to consumers. Prominent examples include rooftop solar, energy storage, more efficient buildings, the expanding capacity of the Internet of Things to enable customers to voluntarily curtail their energy use in response to price signals or emergencies (demand response), and the growing fleet of electric vehicles.
These emerging technologies, now labeled distributed energy resources (DER), offer a range of potential benefits to various participants in the market today. Customers benefit from reduced consumption of purchased electricity, reduced demand charges through time shifting energy use, and lower rates. As discussed below and depending on their deployment and use, DER can also help local utilities and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates both the regional grid and the wholesale electricity market. All parties benefit from increased reliability, resilience, and self-sufficiency.
The proliferation of these resources has been hampered, however, because the unique structure of today's competitive electric market makes it difficult for the owner of distributed resources to receive compensation for on-site and system-level benefits.
Rooftop Solar and EVs Save Water and Cut Pollution
By Beia Spiller, Environmental Defense Fund
Thanks to improvements in technology, it's easier than ever to be green.
Solar panels and electric vehicles
are two prime examples of technologies that can help people minimize their environmental footprint without sacrificing comfort or having to radically change their daily behavior. But the question still remains: How much of an environmental benefit do these technologies actually produce? And are there actions that owners of these technologies can take to minimize their pollution footprint even more?
My colleagues and I recently published
a paper in Energy Economics, attempting to answer these two questions for households in Austin, Texas. Our study took place in the Mueller residential neighborhood and focused on a group of homes that are part of Pecan Street Inc.,
a living smart-grid laboratory with the largest customer energy-use database on the planet.
Using detailed household-level data from 2013 to 2015, we were able to track solar panel performance and EV use and charging patterns and match these actions to two important environmental impacts: water
use and greenhouse gas emissions.
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
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.
Micah Jasuta - Chair (Austin)
Ron Zagarri - Vice Chair (Austin)
Paul Gonin -
Katherine Searcy - Secretary (Austin)
Board Members at Large
Richard Behlmann (Katy)
John Gardner (Brenham)
Amy Olsen (Bastrop)
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
- Lucy Stolzenburg
Solar Reflector Editor - Ron Zagarri
Solar Reflector Copy Editor - Sarah Weber