Texas Solar Events on the Horizon
2017 is coming to a close, but there are still a wealth of ways to learn about solar in your community and in your state.
This is a huge party where you can learn from almost 100 vendors about solar energy, sustainable
living, green building and more. The music and food is always great!
A perfect paring of solar power,
rainwater collection and sustain-
A workshop to introduce engineers and designers to the basics of solar and inspire leadership to increase the deployment of solar PV. Sponsored by the DOE SunShot Initiative.
The DFW Solar Tour wrap party, plus a presentation on one special tour project that brought solar to a household in South Dallas, installed by students who look to a future in the solar industry.
The premier Texas conference on energy efficiency will again feature a track on renewable energy.
Our Houston chapter's last meeting of 2017 as they elect officers and prepare for the Houston Solar Tour in Feb. 2018!
Dec. 6, Barr Mansion
The 10th annual holiday celebra- tion for the Austin Earth Day community. Keep an eye on the website for more details
Keep an eye on the Solar Austin website for details.This
is always a great party.
And in 2018
The TXSES Annual Meeting
Welcome to the fall 2017 edition of the TXSES Solar Reflector. This will be my last "Chair's Corner," as I am concluding my second term on the TXSES Board of Directors. It has been an honor to be a part of such a great organization.
During my four years with TXSES-a virtual lifetime in the solar industry-we have accomplished much. Primarily, we continue to educate the public, advocate for solar policies, and support local solar energy groups throughout the state. While we would never presume to take all the credit, we are proud to have played an important role in increasing awareness and adoption of solar energy.
After 21 years in the high-tech world, I decided to change careers to work in photovoltaics (PV). I felt compelled to be part of the revolutionary changes occurring in clean energy and to play my small part in mitigating climate change. A revolutionary at heart, I had to enlist.
A New Community-Wide Approach to Solar
By Scott Nguyen PhD, 1PlanetSol
We just survived another sizzling Texas summer. To keep cool and comfortable in the Texas heat, many of us do not think twice about cranking up the air conditioning. However, for Billy, an eight-year-old who lives on the southeast side of Austin, and his family, the decision to turn on the AC is not as simple. Air conditioning consumes tons of electricity, and electricity rates are often highest during summer months.
As a result, paying the electric bill can be a monthly conundrum for Billy's family. Do we incur a large utility bill or prioritize food, school supplies, or medical expenses?
Billy's family is not alone - Texas has over ten million people living in poverty. These families spend up to 30 percent of their income on home energy costs compared to an average of 4 percent statewide.
Going solar could be a great solution to reduce these families' energy burden.
Rooftop Solar Under Attack
By Michael Jewell, Jewell and Associates
Residential and small commercial customers who install solar generation behind their meters - commonly called "rooftop solar" or, more generically, "distributed renewable generation" - may be excused for feeling paranoid. In many cases, their electric utilities are out to get them.
While some electric providers, like Austin Energy and City Public Service of San Antonio, have shown a desire to work with customers who want to install rooftop solar, others have not been as accommodating. Why? Perhaps it is because, as one utility executive put it, customers who install solar have become the utilities' competitors. The resulting conflicts have centered on what utilities can charge their customers who install rooftop solar and how much the utilities should pay for excess energy put onto the electric grid by a customer's generation system.
These discussions have really taken off over the past few years, and we have seen this issue arise more frequently in electric utility cases filed at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. As the representative of several clean energy clients, I have had a front-row seat for many of the recent proceedings.
Lone Star State Community Solar - Part 2
By Katherine Searcy, Cation Consultants, PLLC
In the April 2017
, I described the obstacles to growth of community solar, the characteristics of successful programs, and the array of programs sprouting up across Texas
Throughout this time, community solar has continued its rapid growth across the country and within the Lone Star State. According to Greentech Media, community solar installation rates through Q2 2017
are on track to grow by 400 MW by year-end, which would double the cumulative installed capacity.
In this second installment, I provide updates on new and emerging programs, discuss the variety of program options employed in Texas, and share strategies for cost reduction.
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.
DJ Rosebaugh - Chair (Austin)
Ron Zagarri - Vice Chair (Austin)
Micah Jasuta - Secretary (Austin)
Paul Gonin -
Board Members at Large
Richard Behlmann (Katy)
Bill Glass (Austin)
Chapter Representatives to the Board
Leslie Libby - Solar Austin
Lissa Magel - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)
Kate Rodriguez/Jacob Eyer - Build San Antonio Green/Bring Solar Home
Bill Swann - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
- Lucy Stolzenburg
Solar Reflector Editor - Ron Zagarri
Solar Reflector Copy Editor - Sarah Weber