The Solar Reflector      
                Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society -January 1, 2016              
Happy New Year
The extension beyond 2016 of the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar installations.

Houston adopts PACE-in-a-Box and Travis Co. approves their first project.

We examine solar business models in four of the nearly 70 co-ops in Texas. 

Everyone wins as we distribute more solar car kits to schools in Texas.



We need your support to make 2016 an exceptional year for the adoption of solar in Texas. 


   Our Chapters in      Houston, North Texas,  Austin and San Antonio

The individuals in these local TXSES chapters work to increase the megawatt power of solar energy in their communities. 


TXSES is a Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society


ASES has been shining a light on the solution since 1954.

One environment, one simple way to care for it.
Your gift through workplace giving supports TXSES and more than three dozen Texas environmental not-for-profit charities.  

Learn how Reliant Energy generously supports EarthShare Texas and the Texas Solar Energy Society through their EcoShare Program 

It's not too early to start thinking about the 20th Cool House Tour July 12, 2016.

Applications are being taken now for this nationally recognized event. We will see the best of sustainably designed and built homes in Austin. 
View the highlights of the

February 29-March 2, 2016

The EPA's Clean Power Plan along with continued low gas prices are likely to drive the closure of many coal-fired generation units. How will the ERCOT market respond?

A massive build-out of wind and solar may be the most direct outcome, but the ERCOT grid is plagued by congestion. The delivery of renewables hinge on large investments in transmission infrastructure. 

ERCOT Market Summit 2016 will examine the changing market rules and drivers, bringing policy-makers together with utility, IPP, DR and energy storage executives to explore opportunities to meet Texas' future power needs.

Chairman's Corner
Scot Arey  

My last Chairman's Corner article and I want to say, "CONGRATULATIONS" to all of us. The 30% solar tax credit has been extended and this will benefit homeowners, business owners, electric cooperatives, solar installers, the Texas grid...let me just say - EVERYBODY.  It's really great news.

The tax credit is good for individual Texans and allows you to make the choice on how you get your electricity. It's good for Texas because it generates much-needed electricity in our booming state and it keeps our tax dollars right here at home where we can invest and spend locally. Read more!
PACE Forges Ahead in Texas 
Houston City Council adopts PACE-in-a-Box; 
first project approved in Travis County

by Ross Pumfrey

Texas' innovative financing approach for renewable energy, efficiency, and water conservation took two giant strides over the past two months.

First, on November 4 the City of Houston became the second local government in Texas to approve a PACE, or "property-assisted clean energy," program.

PACE is an innovative financing approach that enables owners of commercial and industrial properties to take out long-term, low-cost loans from private lenders for installations of renewable energy, efficiency, and water conservation technology and pay them back through a voluntary assessment on their property. Read more 
 Solar Energy and Texas Electric Cooperatives
By Ross Pumfrey and Ron Zagarri

More than three million Texans, mostly in rural areas, receive their power from electric cooperatives(co-ops). There are 75 such Texas co-ops, ranging in size from the largest in the country, Pedernales, with more than 270,000 members, to much smaller organizations with less than 10,000 members.

Like all utilities around the country, Texas co-ops are gradually adopting new business models in response to their members' desire to generate their own electricity renewably while still being connected to the grid. This phenomenon, a form of distributed generation or DG, represents a revolution in the relationship between utilities and the people they serve.
Anchor5Eagle Scout Candidate to Produce 
Solar Power Car Kits for Kids

Solar Car Kits for Kids, created by longtime TXSES volunteer Dr. Gary Vliet, welcomes a new collaboration with the Boy Scouts! Aspiring Eagle Scout Tony Kirk will coordinate the production of 10 kits as his project. He is then responsible for selecting and arranging their delivery with instructions to a 5th grade class in a rural Texas school district.

For several years, the solar car kits have been a tremendous tool for teaching young students about solar power, both in the classroom and in workshops around the state. Easily assembled, it's a short half hour from a pile of components to the racetrack. The feedback from teachers and students confirms this is a simple but effective lesson in the power of solar energy. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with the Boy Scouts to produce these solar cars kits.

Check out the video 

           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)
        Ross Pumfrey- VIce-Chairman  (Austin)
        Bill Glass - Secretary (Austin)
        Jessica Galloway - Treasurer (Austin)
Board Members at Large
        D.J. Rosebaugh (Austin)
        Larry Howe (Plano)
        Richard Behlmann (Katy)
        Nathan Doxsey (Austin)        
 Chapter Representatives to the Board
        Bill Swann - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
        Matt Weldon - Solar Austin
        Jim Duncan - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)                                Kate Rodriguez-Build San Antonio Green/Bring Solar Home
 Executive Director - Lucy Stolzenburg 
 Solar Reflector Editor-Lucy Stolzenburg   
                           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 educate Texans on the value of solar and encourage its adoption through local Texas businesses.