The Solar Reflector      
                Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society - April 2016              

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


It's Earth Month and our Chapters are Busy!

Houston Solar Tour- Committed to staging a solar tour a quarter, HREG will tour the Bellaire neighborhood Sat. April 23
NTREG will be talking all things solar at Earth Day Texas in Fair Park Dallas. Check out the NTREG calendar for more this month-they are everywhere!

Look for Solar Austin at Earth Day Austin and next Tuesday April 26 join them for their happy hour

Do you live in San Antonio? Build San Antonio Green can guide you to living sustainably and their Bring Solar Home program is your first stop if you are considering hooking up to the sun!

June 12, 10-6

It's not too early to start thinking about the 20th Cool House Tour  in Austin!  We have 10 great projects to view that speak to the importance of sustainable design and construction techniques. Stay tuned for more information. 

And we need volunteers! A three-hr shift checking tickets and greeting tour goers gets you a free ticket to the tour!

H-E-B and EarthShare Texas team up in April with a campaign to raise money for over three dozen environmental groups-including TXSES! Tear off a $1, $3 or $5 coupon at the check out counter and support the many organizations that work to keep Texas clean, beautiful and wild.

And if you are a Reliant Energy customer, please sign up for EcoShare! Another way to support those environmental non-profits. And us!

TXSES is a Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society


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

Chairman's Corner
Ross Pumfrey

Thanks to the support of the many people who make periodic donations to TXSES (cumulatively very important), we continue to engage in work that we hope is interesting and useful to you.

Before offering you updates on some of that work, I want to call your attention to a calendar of upcoming events for the rest of April ("Earth Month") to the left. Many of those events are efforts of our impressive chapters. If you live in one of the areas where are chapters are active, I encourage you to participate.

Reaching a bit beyond April, for those of you in the Austin area, mark your calendar for the 20th annual Cool House Tour on June 12-a chance to see the wonderful things that can be done with building design.

So what do we have to report?  Read more.

Rooftop Solar PV Installations
 Across Texas

By Larry Howe
How many rooftop solar installations are there in Texas? Is the number growing? Where do you find this information? How current is the data? How often is it updated?
The Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) estimates, at a minimum, there were over 17,000 "behind the meter" solar PV installations across the state at the end of 2015. "Behind-the-meter" means solar PV generation installed to generate electricity on the customer side of the meter to provide electricity supply for the customer's load. This type of distributed generation installation includes both solar PV installed on rooftops of homes and businesses, as well as ground mounted systems. For simplicity, I will refer to behind-the-meter installations as rooftop installations for the remainder of this article.
To date, there isn't one place to find data on the number of rooftop installations in cities and communities across Texas (This is changing, more on this later.). We have been piecing together information from various sources to try to compile a total for the state. And the good news is the number is continuing to grow! Note: Some states do provide rooftop solar installation counts and installed capacity - see .
Until late 2015, we had been using three main sources of information for rooftop installations. These sources are (1) Solar San Antonio and (2) Austin Energy, both large metro areas with growing rooftop installations serviced by municipal electric utilities; and (3) load profile type count data from the deregulated market areas of the state through ERCOT, our Texas grid operator.  Using these three sources, complied data indicated 10,648 and 14,606 installations at the end of 2014 and 2015 respectively.  While this provided a decent estimate, it did not include data from the large number of electric co-ops and other municipal electric utilities across the state.Read more

Aspiring Eagle Scout Tony Kirk will coordinate the production of 10 kits for his scouting project. He is looking for a worthy 5th grade class in a rural Texas school district to be the lucky recipient of these solar cars. 

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 -
aka the school parking lot! The feedback from teachers and students confirms this is a simple but effective lesson in the power of solar energy. 

Drop us a note if you are interested.

Check out the video 

Want to Attend the Webinar?

Event Number: 666 416 372
Event Password: NCTsolar
           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
        Ross Pumfrey Chairman  (Austin)
        Larry Howe - Vice Chair(Plano)
        Bill Glass - Secretary (Austin)
        Nathan Doxsey Treasurer (Austin)
Board Members at Large
        D.J. Rosebaugh (Austin)
        Richard Behlmann (Katy)
        Paul Gonin (Georgetown)
        Ron Zagarri (Austin)      
 Chapter Representatives to the Board
        Bill Swann - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
        Leslie Libby - Solar Austin
        Lissa Magel - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)                                      Kate Rodriguez-Build San Antonio Green/Bring Solar Home
 Executive Director - Lucy Stolzenburg 
 Solar Reflector Editor-Lucy Stolzenburg   
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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.