The Solar Reflector   

                    Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society- August 2013                                                

Help us promote solar energy and the wise use of all resources in Texas. Memberships start at $25!


The largest green fair in the South!
               September  27-29

  Dallas/Fort Worth Solar Home Tour
                     October 5

   Solar power from Austin to Blanco
                     October 12

Solar Fest San Antonio
 October 12

 In conjunction with
 Houston Energy Day
                   October 19

      The 20th Border Energy Forum
San Antonio
November 6-8

The 29th Annual TREIA Conference
San Antonio
                November 11-13                   


The TXSES Chapters were especially busy with Earth Day events in April. Read how they continue to promote the benefits of solar energy and the wise use of all resources.

Solar San Antonio 
In April Solar San Antonio hosted their annual Solar Tour of homes and businesses. In the week leading up to the tour, they  learned CPS was planning to cut the rate solar providers were compensated for power sent back to the grid. The community rallied to protest this abrupt change and convinced the utility to postpone the decision until May 2014 and invite public comment. Grassroots efforts work!  SSA founder Bill Sinkin's 100th Birthday Celebration was May 17!

NTREG meets the 2nd Saturday of the month at the Dallas REI store. They were  busy almost every weekend in April working Earth Day events. Dan Lipinski's Solar Shuttle and Mike Renner's Solar Trailer powered multiple music venues across North Texas, sometimes several in one day!
HREG officially meets quarterly and has various meetups in the interim. Members partnered with the USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Chapter to present a guide on
Solar Austin meets the third Wednesday of the month to discuss issues related to solar. They are working to educate Austin Energy customers on a proposal to move the management of the city utility from the City Council to a board of directors, a move that Solar Austin opposes.

         One environment.
 One simple way to care for it.    
Your gift through workplace giving can support TXSES and other respected environmental charities. 
Reliant Energy generously supports EarthShare Texas through their EcoShare Program.    
H-E-B just completed a very successful tearpad campaign that raised funds for the EarthShare Texas member organizations. Thank you H-E-B! 

TXSES is a member of the American Solar Energy Society,  shinning a light on the solution since 1954. Read the latest issue of Solar Today Magazine and Solar at Work . Find out what's happening in communities around the country with the bi-weekly  Solar Citizen!

Chairman's Corner

Chris Boyer       

Thanks to solar supporters like you, the success of the solar industry has been truly amazing; even in the face of all kinds of adversity from the energy industry. Can you believe the Department of Energy published in the 2003 Annual Energy Outlook that "oil prices would be steady at $23 to $25 per barrel through 2025." Wrong! Oil prices shot up since 2003 and today sit around $100/barrel. They also predicted "solar PV would grow slowly and might break 1 GW of capacity by 2025." Wrong! Solar capacity zoomed past 1 GW a few years after that prediction and we stand at about 5 GW today with many predictions based on projects in progress showing well over 30 GW before 2020. More   


         TXSES Members Bring Solar and  
         Training to South Sudan, Africa  
By Chris Boyer
Imagine being the medical center that is responsible for the health of 500,000 people in South Sudan. Now realize that you have no electricity; you cannot store medicine because it spoils in the heat; you deliver babies in the dark of night; and there is sandy dust everywhere that blows in from the windows left open for light and ventilation. That's the daily operation of the medical clinic in Aweng - that is, until our solar team arrived. More  

  Solar in Our State Parks    
  Baylor University Solar team collects data for Texas Parks and 
      Wildlife, setting a standard of efficiency for solar panels 
null By Billy Anderson &
                                      Dr. Mack Grady 

As part of its endeavor to conserve the usage of natural Texas resources, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TWPD) recently installed eighteen solar panel arrays across Texas. They range from a 5kW array at Ft. Davis, 30kW at Cedar Hill State Park, 35 kW at Cooper Lake State Park, on up to the 92kW array on the Austin Headquarters (see Solar Power Parks ).  The energy generated by these arrays typically supplies about 20% of facility power needs and supplements the Texas grid, but the department is unable to determine the efficiency of their photovoltaic systems. Consequently, the question is whether or not a higher level of energy production should be expected. Baylor University's Solar Team, under the supervision of Prof. Mack Grady, is partnering with TPWD to develop a tool for evaluating actual photovoltaic system efficiency. More 

    Never Enough Water in Texas     
                     Why solar should be a serious contender for   
                             the state's energy portfolio mix
By Kimberly Tanner

With the scorching summer nearly behind us, conserving water has been on everyone's mind. Adequate water supplies is not a given in the Texas future as we look at the possibility of a new drought of record, while the state boasts 5 of the top 10 fastest growing cities in the U.S. All those people need electricity and the power from coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro and biopower require access to massive amounts of water. Some technologies do return water to the natural environment, but the high cost of cleaning and cooling that water is high and the result is not always effective. More

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

The Texas Solar Energy Society, a 501(c)(3), was founded in 1976 as a non-profit organization created to increase awareness for the potential of solar and other renewable energy applications and to promote the wise use of sustainable and non-polluting resources.   
 Chairman - Chris Carter Boyer  
 Executive Director - Lucy Stolzenburg  
 Editor - Lucy Stolzenburg
 Contributing Writers- Mike Renner, Scot Arey    
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