The Solar Reflector   
            Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society     
Chapter News


TXSES has chapters in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, North Texas and El Paso. Read what's happening in your area and get connected to your solar community. 

     September 24-26

Learn about renewable energy, green building, resource conservation, organic gardening and so much more! Join us in Fredericksburg for the largest sustainable fair in the South.

Natalie Marquis retires as TXSES
Executive Director

TXSES Sponsors

           Visit our
Business Member Page to view all our business supporters.

TXSES is a member of Earthshare Texas

Learn More About 


Chairman's Corner
   July 2010
   John Gardner/TXSES Chair

   We are in the midst of another busy hot summer. The Cool House tour wrapped up June 6 and The Renewable Energy Roundup is coming to Fredericksburg in late September. Both of these events act as fundraisers for TXSES as well as opportunities to get the word out on renewables.

   The Austin Cool House Tour, TXSES's primary fundraiser, was a great success. Highlighting 12 outstanding examples of energy efficient design and building technology, this year's tour also featured seven homes with solar PV, three homes with solar thermal, a home with residential wind, two with smart grid panels, a net zero energy home (with an electric car!), a net zero capable community and for the first time, several examples of large rainwater collection in an urban setting. This was the 14th year TXSES has partnered with Austin Energy Green Building for this popular tour that draws visitors from around the state. Thanks you to all the hard working folks, particularly Natalie and Lucy, for making the tour such a grand event.

   Read more of John's update, including the upcoming retirement of our  Executive DIrector Natalie Marquis, and a call to support those organizations lobbying for solar incentives.
Ramping Up the Renewable Lobby for the Coming 82nd Texas Legislative Session

By Michael Albrecht

With the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe fueling fresh, national debate on U.S. energy policy, Texas' renewable energy coalition is preparing to resume their ongoing efforts to nurture passage of renewable enabling legislation in the upcoming 82nd session. Costs of new initiatives in the alternative energy arena will face the gauntlet of competing needs in a session severely handicapped by an estimated $18 billion state revenue shortfall.

 Read more about the upcoming legislative session and the various stakeholders who look to put solar on the Texas agenda.

A Sunnyside of Texas-The Solar Dog House Project

By Samantha Perkins

Thanks to a generous contribution from the Texas Solar Energy Society and its local chapter, the Houston Renewable Energy Group, after school programs are going to the dogs. TXSES, along with HREG, has donated 1000 bones, as in dollars, to support green initiatives in Houston schools in an unconventional way: funding the design and construction of solar-powered dog houses.
   "Why not have fun with renewable energy and green building and present it in a manner that captures the imagination?" asked Lucy Stolzenburg of TXSES. Innovative programs that incorporate green components are emerging across the nation, even within Houston, Energy Capital of the World.

  Read more about the middle school students who design,build and sell their solar powered dog houses.

TXSES Furthers Solar Energy and Renewable Energy Education Through Grants and Scholarships

As well as the grant to the Solar Dog House project, highlighted in the article above, TXSES has recently focused on funding other scholarships and programs around the state.

This spring, TXSES awarded $1,000 to El Paso high school 
  students in the International Baccalaureate Program who are
  working in conjunction with our EPSEA chapter to promote
  understanding and adoption of solar energy in the city.
TXSES will shortly announce the award of a $1,500 scholarship
  to a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Texas at
  Austin. The award, for work in the field of renewable energy,
  honors TXSES founding member and UT Professor Emeritus
  Dr. Gary Vliet.
 In late 2009, TXSES granted $1,000 to the Starcher/Nelson 
  Renewable Energy Scholarship at West Texas A & M University.
  The scholarship program was created by TXSES founding members
  and WTAMU/Alternative Energy Institute educators Ken Stracher 
  and Dr.Vaughn Nelson.

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.
TXSES is a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, who has been shining light on the solution since 1954.