December 2020
by Katherine Searcy, Chair TXSES Board of Directors

As we wrap up one of the most tumultuous years that I can recall, I return to gratitude as a centering and productive force: gratitude for the technical and business achievements that enabled climate-friendly photovoltaics to become a dominant source for new electric generating capacity nationwide; gratitude to live in Texas, a state with such an abundant solar resource that we have the second-largest installed solar capacity of any state, and predicted to more than triple that capacity in the next five years; and gratitude to our members who have sustained our organization through this uncertain year with their generous donations. More
by Roger Duncan

Former General Manager of Austin Energy, former Austin City Councilmember, lifetime friend, colleague, author and tireless solar advocate, Roger gives us a peek at the spectacular advances in solar technologies and how they will continue to drive electric generation. From carbon nanotubes to desert-scale PV, Duncan expects solar panels and coverings to be ubiquitous and very cheap. "For many applications, and I know I tempt the gods here, it will be too cheap to meter." Hear his thoughts on the changes ahead over the coming decades.
When Michael Blank was nine, his dad, an electrical engineer, taught him basic wiring. At 13, Blank was doing more complicated electrical tasks than dad was comfortable supervising. Spoiler alert: solar PV and Blank have a future together. While solar and green renovations were always a hobby. SInce 2009, Blank has designed, installed and maintained solar PV systems on his homes, first a 6kW rooftop PV system in Fort Worth and currently a 20kW ground mount PV array with battery backup in Dripping Springs. True to his engineering nature, Blank asserts that it comes together a lot quicker if you plan it.
by Jane Pulaski

In this nothing-is-normal simmering cauldron we're currently living in, I am nonetheless thinking about the upcoming Texas legislative session. Perhaps it's a distraction from relentless pandemic obsessing, but as a former house and senate committee clerk, every new session still arouses my penchant for the legislative process. While every session is unique, this one comes with a wallop: the pandemic and low oil prices have decimated state coffers. That's painful, especially when pre-COVID, State Comptroller Glen Hegar predicted almost a $3 billion surplus. Given the state's gloomy economic position, I reached out to Charlie Hemmeline, Executive Director Texas Solar Power Association, for his thoughts about how solar might fare during the 87th Regular Session starting next month.
Chapter Updates:
Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio
Solar Austin developed an Equitable Clean Energy Jobs internship matching program that benefits both employers and employees. Leveraging a $25K grant from the City of Austin, Solar Austin hired a program manager to recruit program participants, which include local clean energy companies as well as students of color and women students. Despite the pandemic, the Equitable Clean Energy Job pilot program exceeded program goals and key performance indicators. More
In May, the City of Dallas unanimously adopted a Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan consistent with the goals of the 2017 Paris Climate Agreement, and with support from NTREG. Recently, NTREG hosted a zoom event with Susan Alvarez, P.E., Assistant Director of the City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability, about the plan as adopted, along with an update on actions and milestones underway as part of the FY 20-21 Implementation Work Plan. Watch this event and past NTREG meetings here.
This year, Eco El Paso's 13th Annual Conference, Sustainability During A Pandemic Speaker Series, was a free virtual event focused on sustainability education for professionals and the public to learn how to build a more sustainable El Paso. All 13 speaker sessions were recorded and can be found on YouTube. More
Solar United Neighbors (SUN), the creation of two D.C. high school lads in 2007 to expand community solar and low-income solar deployment, has spread to 13 states including Texas. SUN Coops organize 50-100 neighbors to leverage bulk solar purchasing power for discount pricing and quality installations. HREG, part of the SUN national network of coops, has established six coops, including the recent West Houston Coop of 45 participants with seven installations totaling 94kW. HREG is currently working to build membership in a Spring Branch Coop. More
BSAG is an affordable, easy-to-use program for certifying green homes. BSAG-certified projects exceed code in energy and water, are more durable, and promote a healthful indoor environment. Each home is tested and verified. Earning a BSAG certificate may qualify your home for the CPS Energy Whole Home Rebate. You can earn up to $1000 per home if you certify with Build San Antonio Green. More
TXSES is excited to welcome Wyatt Beaver, Meghana Bommareddy and Jack Maedgen as our Spring 2021 interns, all of whom are committed to helping TXSES achieve its mission. "We couldn't be more fortunate and excited to have these smart, talented students work with us in 2021," said Pete Parsons, TXSES Executive Director. "With the upcoming legislative session, in addition to all the other projects in the queue, their energy, passion and spirit will be enormously helpful and an inspiration to us all."
Wyatt A. Beaver
Meghana Bommareddy
Jack Maedgen
Keep up with the latest news about TXSES' solar impact in Texas
Shopping for the holidays and looking for another way to support TXSES? Now's the perfect time to shop at AmazonSmile using and Amazon will donate to TXSES at no cost to you! It's easy as 1-2-3:
  1. Go to and log in using your Amazon credentials.
  2. After signing in, you will be directed to a page to select a charitable organization
  3. Under the heading Or pick your own charitable organization, enter Texas Solar Energy Society, then click “Search”
See? Easy! And thank you!! 🙏
We thank our generous business members who support our mission to lay the foundation for a 100% clean energy future for Texas, one community at a time.
These organizations generously support TXSES' work to raise awareness of the value and benefits of solar energy that will support ambitious clean energy, enhance grid resilience and reliability and build strong equitable solar communities.

For nearly three decades, Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) has cultivated innovation in green building to raise standards for energy efficiency, water quality and conservation, indoor environmental quality, site development and material resources.
Since 1992, EarthShare of Texas has supported more than 40 Texas environmental and conservation non-profits like TXSES.
Home more these days? Our friends at Reliant Energy share some valuable tips on ways to save energy while you’re home. Take a peek. 
For more than four decades, TXSES has been the pre-eminent statewide organization
developing free thought-leading, independent, fact-based information and quality educational materials that inspire innovation, share best practices, and inform decision-makers on the critical importance of sound, favorable solar policies that will grow the industry, protect clean air, build healthy, resilient communities, support local, well-paying jobs and lay the foundation for energy independence.