The Solar Reflector   

                    Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society- December 2012                                                

 Time to renew? Become a new TXSES member? 
            We do cool stuff. 

The TXSES Annual Meeting will be January 19, 2013. Location to be announced shortly. 

The Unified Energy System  

Dec.10-13 at Lost Pines


Join us in Bastrop as Texas Renewable Energy Industires Association hosts its annual conference. Renewable energy has come of age.  Solar modules are below a dollar/watt and Texas Coastal wind now competes with base load in price, yet performs like a peaker.  Solar plants can now compete with peakers in price...more

We are offering two afternoon workshop sessions Dec.10 for the low price of $25 for both...more

*Design and Build for Efficiency- LaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED AP
*Solar-What You Need to Know- Cathy Redson, award winning educator  


Read the latest from our chapters in Austin, North Texas, San Antonio and Houston   , who all actively work to educate their communities on the benefits of renewable energy and resource conservation. The ASES National Solar Tour in October was well represented in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio and the Hill Country. 


TXSES is a member of the American Solar Energy Society,  shinning a light on the solution since 1954. Become a member of ASES and support the adoption of solar energy nationwide. 


         One environment.
  One simple way to care for it.  
One gift through workplace giving can support TXSES and other respected environmental charities. More

Chairman's Corner

  Christine Chandler  


The elections are over. Now it's time to refresh our drive to promote renewable energy, and solar energy in particular. While some people still believe solar is too expensive or too complicated, it is heartening to note results of a study commissioned by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The study of a national representative sample of registered voters was conducted in September, more       

      The Winter the Gas Was Cut to
                     Crystal City
Thirty five years ago, solar thermal saved the     residents of this South Texas town


By Michael Albrecht

Drawn to Texas from the East Coast in the mid-1970s by the first academic sustainable architecture program in the country at UT Austin, Pliny Fisk found himself unexpectedly embroiled in a political hotbed in south Texas. His involvement in six impoverished south Texas towns would result in the installation of some 2,000 solar water heaters fashioned from recycled materials.

Fisk was presenting a paper at a conference in San Antonio in the fall of 1977 when members of the Community Development Corporation (CDC), operated by the local La Raza Unida Party, approached him. With a sense of urgency, they explained that the natural gas supply to their entire town of Crystal City, Texas, was about to be cut off by the provider, Lo-Vaca Gas Company. Read more 

      The Army's Net Zero Approach to   
                   Energy Security
       Fort Bliss on track to achieve goal by 2018   

By Colonel Scot Arey 

United States military bases in Texas are an important part of our national security. What many renewable energy enthusiasts may not know is that they also play the part of role model for Texas energy security. While Texas assesses how it will meet its electrical demands over the next decade, military installations are making progress now to become Net Zero installations. The Department of Defense is serious about reducing power consumption, increasing the use of renewable energy, and attaining energy security.


Net Zero is the Army's approach to energy security, and its  website shows the importance it places not just on the operational necessity of energy security but also on being a solid partner with its local communities. According to the website, the Army is ...."creating a culture that recognizes the value of sustainability measured not just in terms of financial benefits, but benefits to maintaining mission capability, quality of life, relationships with local communities, and the preservation of options for the Army's future." Read more 

        The Solar Reflector is a publication of TXSES   

 Chairman - Christine Chandler 

 Interim Executive Director - Lucy Stolzenburg  

 Editors - Lucy Stolzenburg, Deborah Stedman 

 Contributing Writers- Michael Albrecht, Scot Arey   


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.                     


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                              Thanks to our Sponsors
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Visit for a list of all our business supporters.  We thank all of our members, both business and individual, for supporting our mission to promote solar and renewable energy, and the wise use of all resources.