The Solar Reflector

Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society - December 2018
Happy New Year!
 Thank you for your interest in solar energy.

The Solution Comes Up Every Morning

We promote clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy for every Texan.

Events In Early 2019

February 2
Georgetown Library

Free and open to all interested in solar! TXSES meets annually to bring our chapters together  and hear from experts in the solar field. This year, Charlie Hemmeline looks back on statewide solar adoption in 2018 and forward to the 2019 Texas legislative session. CIty of Georgetown officials will  address their goal to be 100% renew-
powered.  The Clean Energy Credit Union will address their work to further the adoption of clean energy products and services through low interest loans.


February 25-27

ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to 90% of Texas and they have not hesitated to bring renewable power onto the grid. Looking forward,the closure of coal plants suggests resource adequacy issues, but power pricing  has not reached levels to trigger new construction of old generation models. Now an enormous wave of solar is on the horizon. The growing movement to co-locate storage with wind and solar PV is changing notions of what is necessary to assure electric power reliability.


 Where do you live?

TXSES chapters around the state  focus on solar power, electric vehicles, sustainable building practices and more. 

NTREG meets the second Saturday of the month in Dallas.

Solar Austin's   H appy Hour is 4th Tuesday of the month.

HREG meets monthly in Houston.

Bring Solar Home is a program Build San Antonio Green hosts to create a sustainable city.

We are fortunate to be one of 39  environmental organizations under the  EarthShare Texas 
umbrella. Through EarthShare Texas, we benefit from multiple workplace giving campaigns, 
H-E-B's April Earth Month tearpad campaign and  Reliant Energy's EcoShare Program . If you are a participant in any of these opportunities- Thank You!

TXSES is a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society

ASES has been shining a light on the solution since 1954. Become a  member of ASES  and receive Solar Today Magazine and more!

The Anatomy of a Price Collapse
And How It Affects Texas Solar

By Ron Zagarri, TXSES

Falling module prices are nothing new for the solar industry, as 2018 has emphatically shown.

On May 31, 2018, the Chinese government abruptly cut a key incentive for domestic solar development, and a whopping 20 GW of demand  in China evaporated overnight. The resulting glut of manufacturing capacity drove down prices as module makers scrambled to maintain sales and absorb costs at the sacrifice of profitability.

When it comes to solar modules, China is the dragon in the room. As the world's largest module maker and biggest solar consumer, what happens in China does not stay in China. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) observed, these price cuts would spread globally. "Oversupply is universal," noted one analyst.  Read More


Solar News of Note

Both nationally and locally, solar news over the past months has been of particular interest and we want to give you the headlines. Find the full stories at Texas News and National News.  

  • CPS allocates $14M for residential solar rebates in San Antonio starting at $2,500 per project 
  • New Braunfels Utilities contracts 100 MWac from the 255 MW Long Draw Solar facility at a record low price below 2.5ยข/kWh
  • CoServ Electric purchases an additional 26.5 MW of power from the 100-MW Lapetus solar project built by Austin-based developer 7X
  • Report says Texas wind and solar reduced wholesale power prices by $5.7 billion and stabilized prices
  • Georgetown, TX wins $1 million Bloomberg grant to install distributed solar+storage
  • Austin approves another 144 MW solar project located close to home near Pflugerville
  • ERCOT's project pipeline ballooned to almost 80 GW of potential capacity with 86 percent comprised of wind and solar with zero coal
  • In light of recent ERCOT midday electricity demand records, does the Texas grid beg for more solar power?
  • Largest Texas solar plant at 315 MW approved for start of construction and in-service date of 3rd quarter 2019


National News

  • U.S. corporate solar procurement hits a home run with 2.8 GW in 2018, a deal volume 1 GW higher than all other years combined
  • Market report says U.S. solar installations slumped to 1.7 GW in 3Q18 while significant recovery is expected in the 4th quarter
  • Electricity generation from solar PV grew 29% year to date through the end of the 3rd quarter
  • Utility-scale U.S. solar pipeline for 2019 & 2020 expands to 23 GW over the last two quarters
  • Global module prices fall 20-25 percent through the third quarter of 2018
  • LBNL releases the eleventh version of its annual Tracking the Sun report showing 5 to 11 percent installation cost reductions in 2017
  • Solar industry gets boost from IRS ruling extending the 30% Investment Tax Credit for corporate solar projects placed in service before 2024
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