Events on the Horizon
We've just finished up a flurry of solar events in the state- The DFW Solar Tour, Hill Country Solar Tour, Bluebonnet Solar Tour and San Antonio's Solar Fest. But there is more as we coast to the end of 2016.
The TREIA annual conference, GRIDNEXT, will be in Georgetown, the city that has chosen to meet 100% of its electricity needs with wind and solar energy. Connect with thought leaders and businesses across the Texas energy industry.
Dec 19 -21
The CATEE Conference connects public and private decision makers. It aims to help improve the choices that determine the energy and water intensity of the built environment, seek alternative renewable energy sources and reduce related emissions.
Solar Decathlon 2017
We are proud members of
which raises funds for over three dozen environmental non-profits in the state. If your company is interested in a workplace giving campaign,
drop us a note.
EarthShare also partners with Reliant Energy and their
program. Another opportunity to support environmental non-profits -and TXSES!
This is our fourth and final Solar Reflector for 2016. In this "Chairman's Corner," I want to take note of selected events over the past ten months, offer the latest approximation of how much solar generation is expected to be in operation by the end of the year in Texas, and then briefly introduce you to the articles you can read in this issue.
The Texas Solar Energy Society and its chapters have finished holding all their home tours and other public festivals for the year. The five home tours (in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, the Pedernales Electric Co-op, and the Bluebonnet Electric Co-op) drew a total of approximately 1,870 attendees. The annual Solar Fest in San Antonio (just this past weekend) attracted an estimated 6,500 visitors!
Solar energy has begun to surge in Texas, with an expected one gigawatt (1 GW, or 1,000 MW) to be in operation by the end of the calendar year, compared to just 542 MW at the end of 2015.
By Paul Gonin and Ross Pumfrey, TXSES
The adoption of rooftop solar in some of the sunniest regions of the United States lags far behind regions with inferior solar prospects. Does this paradox suggest our nation is squandering an opportunity to capitalize on the economic and societal benefits of distributed solar energy?
Will Texas, second in the nation in rooftop solar potential, embrace this important resource or will wind, buttressed by utility-scale solar, dominate our renewable energy landscape?
Community Solar: Right-Sized Solar for Everyone
By Katherine Searcy, Cation Consultants, PLLC
Over the past decade, a new solar market has gradually taken root across the country. Filling the gap between homegrown rooftop systems and large, utility-scale solar farms, community solar promises to expand solar access to everyone.
Through community solar programs, electricity consumers voluntarily purchase or subscribe to part of a large solar array. In return, participants' electric bills reflect a portion of the financial or electricity credits for the clean energy produced.
Solar Energy and Texas' Municipally Owned Utilities
Lissa King Magel, NTREG
More than 4.1 million Texans, about 15 percent of the state's population, receive their power from a municipally owned utility (MOU). The 72 MOUs in Texas each own and operate their own distribution infrastructure and, in some cases, transmission lines and power plants.
Because they are locally owned and controlled, Texas MOUs can innovate and adopt policies reflecting community priorities, unlike investor-owned utilities that are accountable to distant stockholders.
Thus it's not surprising that it was MOUs that took the lead in the deployment of solar in Texas, as recently highlighted in "
Boom Time in Texas
a featured article in PV Magazine.
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. The mission is to educate citizens on the value of solar energy for their homes and in their communities, empower them to make informed decisions and encourage them to connect with professional Texas solar businesses.
Ross Pumfrey Chairman (Austin)
Larry Howe - Vice Chair(Plano)
Bill Glass - Secretary (Austin)
Board Members at Large
D.J. Rosebaugh (Austin)
Richard Behlmann (Katy)
Ron Zagarri (Austin)
Chapter Representatives to the Board
Bill Swann - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
Leslie Libby - Solar Austin
Lissa Magel - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)
Kate Rodriguez - Build San Antonio Green/Bring Solar Home
- Lucy Stolzenburg
Solar Reflector Editor - Ron Zagarri
Solar Reflector Copy Editor- Sarah Weber