The Solar Reflector   

                                Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society 

                    Happy New Year and Best Wishes for a Very Solar 2015                    

You can help us to fulfill our mission

 
We need your support to make 2015 an exceptional year for the adoption of solar in Texas. We reach out to communities around the state to educate citizens on the value of clean, affordable, water-wise solar.  

        Please Join TXSES 
TXSES Annual Meeting
     Renewable Energy Lab
  Texas A&M-College Station
        January 31, 2015
             1:00-4:00           
We are pleased to be the   guests of the students and faculty at the Texas A&M Renewable Energy Lab in College Station. Details to follow.        
 This meeting is open to all!  
 
      Our Chapters in      Houston, North Texas,  Austin and San Antonio

The individuals in these local chapters of TXSES all work to increase the megawatt power of solar energy in their 
communities. Here's a sample of their work in 2014.





HREG took the month of October to celebrate solar with workshops at Houston IKEA, including a workshop on solar applications for disaster relief.




Solar Fest in October drew almost 4,000 visitors. This group has worked hard to keep incentives available for homeowners and businesses in the city. 


 


NTREG hosted 47 locations on their DFW Solar Tour, meets monthly and  is currently documenting all the solar installations in North Texas.



Solar Austin meets monthly and spearheaded a coalition of citizens to increase the utility's goals for renewable energy, local solar and retirement of Austin's coal fired power plants.           

TXSES is a Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society
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TXSES is a member of the American Solar Energy Society,  shining a light on the solution since 1954. 

Join ASES, and receive an annual subscription to the award winning Solar Today  Magazine-
8 issues per year. You'll support their ongoing work to advance awareness nationally of solar and renewable energy.


One environment, one simple way to care for it.
Your gift through workplace giving supports more than three dozen Texas environmental nonprofits charities.  

Reliant Energy generously supports EarthShare Texas and the Texas Solar Energy Society  through their  EcoShare Program 
 
 The sun provides power all year long.  
   

Chairman's Corner

Scot Arey  

 

Another year has come to a close for the Texas Solar Energy Society.  By the time you're reading this, we're planning our annual meeting at the Texas A&M Renewable Energy Lab and anticipating the new board who will be making plans for 2015.

Now that I've served two years with the board, I feel like I've gained enough non-profit experiences to reflect on what we've accomplished and what we can do even better.

 

First - the good.  And there is lots of that.  The ultimate measure of a non-profit advocacy group is whether what we're talking about is being received - and we're all about educating solar consumers! No doubt that is growing.  Texas solar adoption is taking off at the residential level as consumers install solar on their roofs and in their backyards.  Whether to lower their electric bills or to gain energy reliability and security with a grid-tied battery backup system, Texas consumers are voting with their rooftops by installing solar modules.

 

I'm satisfied that TXSES has slightly amended its mission statement.  While to some just words, for a focused organization the mission drives our actions. Now we've recognized that Texas solar installers have a role in educating Texas consumers. Read more here! 

Solar Installations in 2014
 An album of some of the smart home and business owners who chose solar energy in the past year

Tex and his buddy #187 pose in front of their 10kW ground mount solar array at Blue Mountain Peak Ranch in Mason County.

Looking back on 2014, we know that solar installations are becoming an increasingly familiar sight in the built environment. That's good news because research proves that solar is contagious and that's a contagion we need.Texas is on the verge of being the solar powerhouse it should be. Check out our album of  2014 installations¬ and read why the owners committed to clean renewable power.

USDA Expands Funding for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvements 
in Rural Communities
 
USDA Rural Development is currently seeking rural small business and agricultural applicants interested in purchasing and installing a renewable energy system and/or making energy efficiency improvements to their facilities. Through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the USDA can assist in financing the cost of these projects through grants and loans. The funding for this program has been greatly expanded through the most recent farm bill and the program, to run for 5 years, is more generously funded than in the recent past. 

This is a terrific opportunity in Texas because of the large percentage of the economy anchored in the rural and agricultural sector. Food for thought: This program could provide up to a 25% incentive on a solar installation.

 

Learn more about this opportunity here

  ASES Awarded DOE SunShot Initiative Grant 
    Never dismiss the opportunity of a chance encounter

                 

A chance encounter at SXSW Eco in October led the Executive Directors of TXSES and ASES to a SunShot Initiative workshop recruiting applicants for grants from the SunShot Catalyst Business Innovation program. TXSES and ASES collaborated on a grant application, and on December 21 it was announced that ASES was a winner! ASES will receive $25,000 in software and technical services to develop new mapping and website tools for the National Solar Tour. TXSES will benefit greatly from a user friendly and upgraded website and map as we expand our solar tours in 2015 to electric cooperatives, communities new to solar and just about any individual or installer that wants to be a participant in the largest grassroots solar event in the world! Remember that solar is contagious. When people see it and talk to those who have it, they want it!

                      
        The Solar Reflector is a publication of the

 Texas Solar Energy Society 
The Texas Solar Energy Society, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1976. The mission is to educate citizens on the value of solar energy for their homes and in their communities, empower them to make informed decisions, and encourage them to connect with professional Texas solar businesses. 

Board Officers
        Scot Arey - Chairman  (Killeen)
        Jim Hudson - Vice-Chairman  (Temple)
        Ross Pumfrey - Secretary (Austin)
        Jessica Galloway - Treasurer (Austin)
Board Members at Large
        D.J. Rosebaugh (Austin)
        Larry Howe (Plano)
 Chapter Representatives to the Board
        Bill Swann - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
        Matt Weldon - Solar Austin
        Jim Duncan - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)                                Solar San Antonio's representative TBD
 Executive Director - Lucy Stolzenburg
 Solar Reflector Editor-Lucy Stolzenburg   
 Solar Reflector Copy Editor- Felicity Hannay
        
                           Thanks to Our Sponsors
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 Visit www.txses.org for a list of all our business supporters. We thank all of our members, both business and individual, for supporting our mission to educate Texans on the value of solar and encourage its adoption through local Texas businesses.