The Solar Reflector
Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society - November 2019
 


We need your support to promote clean, safe locally harvested solar energy for every Texan.  

End of 2019 & E arly 2020  Events & Announcements   
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What a party! Build San Antonio Green and their Bring Solar Home program is making Solar Fest better than ever at Hemisphere Park! Great food, music and so much information on solar energy.

Join us for the 'Austin green mixer
of the year', the 12th annual on  12/12. Hosted by 17 organizations, this event is a great place for area environmentalists to come together, refresh and prepare for the New Year as a team.

We are looking for candidates to run for At Large seats on the TXSES Board. There are four seats open with two year terms. The deadline to apply is November 30 and the election runs through the month of December.
        
The 24th Annual Austin Cool House Tour

No, it's not June. It's not hot enough for the tour just yet. But we will be looking at possible Tour homes shortly. TXSES will post the call for applications for the 2020 Tour starting in early December. Applications are due in late January. Stay tuned for details.
TXSES Annual Meeting
February 1, 2020

We meet again at the Georgetown Library in early February to address the State of Solar in Texas and the current topics of interest across the state. Stay tuned for details.
Our Chapters
Around the State

Our chapters in  all work to promote the value and adoption of clean, sustainable solar power. Our  calendar   lists  more events  around the state and the nation.
Thank You 
EarthShare Texas for Your Support

We are fortunate to be one of 39  environmental organizations under the EarthShare Texas umbrella . ESTx raises money through workplace giving, H-E-B's April tear pad campaign and Reliant Energy EcoShare. Thank you to all the employees and individuals who financially support us through EarthShare.
Chair's Corner

Rosa Rodriguez Orenstein

Fall has finally arrived in Texas, and I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather.

TXSES is pleased to report that the executive search committee successfully completed its biggest challenge of the year. No doubt you read the press release late last month announcing the selection and hiring of Patrice "Pete" Parsons as our new executive director effective January 1, 2020.

Pete is already hard at work and taking advantage of the transition time she has with Lucy Stolzenburg as Lucy wraps up her twelve-year TXSES career.   Read More

Putting It on the Line

   
By Harry Sawyer, harry@powerhaircut.com

I am a Newark, New Jersey, native and current ten-year resident of Dripping Springs, Texas, with a background in the utility sector. I am involved professionally in electric transmission, distribution, and generation of utility scale wind, solar, and battery storage. I am an engineer, pyro-technician, and big proponent of the new energy economy. Marital status: Single.

If you are interested in reading about a project that was perfectly executed from start to finish and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, you came to the wrong story. Still, my project may provide some lessons and inspiration to others who might do the same.   Read More

A Lifetime of Renewables


  
By Vaughn Nelson

My lifelong interest in the potential of Texas renewable energy began while teaching physics at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in the '70s. In collaboration with Dr. Earl Gilmore, then head of Physical Sciences at Amarillo College, we started to analyze the Texas wind energy resource. By 1977, WTAMU and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) signed a cooperative agreement to study and test rural applications of wind energy.
 
As founder and director of the WTAMU Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) from 1977 to 2003, my research focused on wind resource assessment and applied research and development. At AEI and USDA, we field tested more than eighty prototype and first-production wind turbines from 50 W to 500 kW. Along the way, I developed several online courses on solar, wind, and other renewables.

When a residential PV rebate from the regulated transmission company, Oncor, became available in early 2015, I seriously considered installing my first rooftop solar system.   Read More

San Antonio Multi-Family Residential Rooftop Solar


 

By Ron Zagarri, TXSES
 
Ramesh Mahbubani, "RK" to his friends, was born and raised in North Africa and attended school there, as well as in England and India, prior to immigrating to the United States. He graduated from Drake University in Iowa and found his way to San Antonio in 1985 when his wife took a position with the San Antonio Independent School District.

Although he knew very little about rooftop solar ("My familiarity with photovoltaics was a one on a scale of one to ten - maybe even lower," he admitted), RK and his wife decided to install solar on their home. They met with several solar companies in the summer of 2016. After evaluating the proposals, the couple began to appreciate the compelling economic advantages rooftop solar could provide.

They quickly realized solar might also make sense on one of their investment properties, a twenty-unit residential apartment complex.  Read More

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

The Texas Solar Energy Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1976. Our mission is to promote clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy for every Texan.

Board Officers
Rosa Rodriguez Orenstein - Chair (Duncanville)
Katherine Searcy - Vice Chair (Austin)
Ron Zagarri - Secretary (Austin)
Paul Gonin -  Treasurer (Georgetown
Board Members at Large
John Gardner (Brenham)
Micah Jasuta (Austin)
Robert Moss (El Paso)
Amy Olsen (Austin)
Joshua Rhodes (Boulder, CO)
Mark Witte (Richardson)
Chapter Representatives to the Board
Leslie Libby - Solar Austin 
Rosa Rodriguez Orenstein - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)
Kaylyn Randolph - Build San Antonio Green
Angela Shen - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
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 TXSES.org  for a list of all our business supporters. We thank all of our members, both business and individual, for supporting our mission to promote the adoption of clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy for every Texan.