Solar Austin Happy Hour: Nonprofits Going Solar – PART 2

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Solar energy isn’t just for homeowners and businesses, some of the wonderful nonprofits in Austin are seeing the benefits as well.  As an affordable energy option, solar can help keep costs low and allow nonprofits to spend their precious resources on other needs.
There has been a flurry of new projects in the nonprofit sector, broadening the reach of solar energy in Austin, so we’re doing another round of this popular program.  Come hear from some of the local nonprofit leaders who have embraced solar.
When: Tuesday, October 21, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
BoyScouts photo smallSunRadio photo cropped small
Speakers will include:
  • Jon C. Yates, Boy Scouts of America – Capitol Area Council Scout Executive / CEO
  • Daryl O’Neal, Sun Radio – Founder and Volunteer
These civic-minded individuals will share information about their organizations’ recent solar projects, including why they did it, how they made it happen, and what their experiences have been.

Please join us to welcome Jon and Daryl to the Solar Austin Happy Hour stage!

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Toward a Maximum Potential Energy Future

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This month we will feature the work of the oldest 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the US that does work in the sustainable architecture landscape architecture and planning arena. Come hear Pliny Fisk III share 4 decades of his experience advancing innovative technologies, projects, and programs as co-Director of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems.

When: Tuesday, September 16, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
RSVP

Pliny will give a brief overview of the center’s 12 methods of design and planning and then discuss his wide ranging work with a diverse set of clientele.  His projects have included the green specification of the US Pentagon, work on the US Mexican border, the first Green Builder program in the US, a sustainable village in China’s coal region, a proposal for hurricane ravaged areas such as Galveston, a new city proposal to rehabilitate the vast destruction of Morocco’s phosphate mines, and Solar Decathlon support for both U.T. and Texas A&M.

SPEAKER BIO:
Pliny Fisk III, Co-Director, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
 
With a background in architecture, landscape architecture, and the systems sciences, Pliny has made pivotal contributions to the sustainability movement for more than four decades by developing replicable prototypes, protocols and policy initiatives.
His prototypes challenge conventional wisdom about building design, engineering, materials, economic development, and landscape and regional planning.
His policy initiatives have included the Austin Green Building Program, the AIA’s Environmental Resource Guide, and greening the Texas Architecture + Engineering Guidelines.
Pliny has received several national and international recognitions including the Lewis Mumford Award, the 1992 Earth Summit Award (with the City of Austin), the U.S. Green Building Council’s Sacred Tree Award, and The Passive Solar Pioneer Award.  Pliny was on the faculty at Ball State University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University, and held teaching positions at the University of Oklahoma and Mississippi State University.

Austin City Council Canidate Forums Offer Chance to See Who Supports Solar

Solar had a big win at the Austin City Council last week.

The Council passed a resolution that doubles the local solar goal to 200 megawatts and the residential and commercial solar goal to 100 megawatts by 2020. The resolution also said that Austin Energy should replace power from the old polluting Decker gas plant with 600 megawatts of large scale solar by 2017.

Sun in fistBut it will be up to the new City Council to make sure these ambitious new goals are implemented.

There are so many candidates running in many of the districts that it might seem difficult to learn what they all think about solar. That’s why Solar Austin is co-hosting a series of candidate forums on Austin Energy issues.

Please join us for your district candidate forum and the mayoral candidate forum.

  • Districts 6 & 10: September 12, 6 – 9 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Dr, Austin, TX 78731
  • Districts 2 & 3: September 19, 6 – 9 p.m., Austin JATC Electrical Training Center, 4000 Caven Rd, Austin, TX 78744
  • Districts 1 & 7: September 20, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., Northwest Recreation Center, 2913 Northland Dr, Austin, TX 78757
  • Districts 4 & 9: September 22, 6 – 9 p.m., First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756
  • Districts 5 & 8: September 23, 6 – 9 p.m., Treehouse, 4477 S. Lamar Blvd, #600, Austin, TX 78745
  • Mayoral: September 29, 7 – 10 p.m., First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756

Please click on the links and share the Facebook events with your friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Candidates will answer questions on a variety of energy topics including solar, climate change and keeping electric bills affordable for low-income customers.

If you don’t know which district you are in, you can look it up. Type in only your street address. For example, if you live at 1234 Barton Springs Rd, Apt 44, type in only “1409 Barton Springs Rd.”

The best way to make sure the next Austin City Council is supportive of solar is for solar supporters to have a presence at these events and learn which candidates will be most likely to keep solar growing in Austin.

Solar Industry Growing Good Green Collar Jobs in Austin

The installation sector of the solar industry is growing fast and creating good green collar jobs in places like Austin. These are jobs that can never be outsourced because a crew of installers needs to actually bring the solar panels and other hardware to homes and businesses and set it up. You can’t do that over the phone, so the local solar market is a dependable source of jobs.

Solar Employees – Mark Haller from Solar Austin on Vimeo.

Help us spread the word: share this video on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #ATXSolarSuccess

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Updating Austin’s 10-Year Energy Plan

We’re dedicating this month’s happy hour to a discussion of the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force recommendations.

Chartered by City Council to provide recommendations for the Austin Energy Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan to 2024, the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force has been working diligently since April to help guide our city’s energy investments. The Task Force recently released its final report and solar figures prominently in its vision of our energy future.

The current City Council has only a few months remaining to leave its mark and the Austin Energy Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan to 2024 is a big opportunity to do just that.

Come hear about the specific solar-related recommendations the Task Force has made and hear perspectives from a panel of local solar leaders on what the provisions would mean for our community.

When: Tuesday, August 19, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (program will start around 6:15 PM)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
RSVP

SPEAKERS:
Mike Sloan, President of Virtus Energy and Task Force member
Tom “Smitty” Smith, Director of Public Citizen Texas and Task Force member
Kaiba White, Solar Austin
Scott Burton, Solar Austin

2014 Trajectories to Achieve Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Austin Energy

Ditching the Gas Pump for Solar

Chris and Krista are married and live in West Austin with their two children. They recently installed solar panels on their home as a way to save money on their utility bills. They also own an electric car, so they’re driving with solar energy too.

Solar Customers – Chris and Krista from Solar Austin on Vimeo.

Help us spread the word: share this video on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #ATXSolarSuccess

Affordable Housing Developer Using Solar to Keep Costs Low

The Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC) is using solar to keep its expenses down in a affordable housing development. The duplexes in this development are net zero energy buildings, thanks in part to rooftop solar installations.

Solar Customers – Guadalupe-Saldana Affordable Housing Subdivision – Cassandra Ramirez from Solar Austin on Vimeo.

Share on Facebook at Twitter with hashtag #ATXSolarSuccess.

Solar Panel Manufacturing Creating Jobs in Austin

Terence Parker is an Applications Engineering Manager at an Austin solar panel technology developer. He’s excited about the integrated solar panel and inverter modules his company is developing, how quickly solar prices are falling and the increased use of solar energy.

Solar Employees – Terence Parker from Solar Austin on Vimeo.

#ATXSolarSuccess

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Solarize! (Today!)

When it comes to ramping up distributed solar, it’s not all about technology improvements and policy. Solarize bulk purchasing programs around the country are helping neighbors use their combined buying power to make going solar cheaper and faster.  Come hear Larry Howe from Plano Solar Advocates talk about their experience running a solarize program and let’s see if we can bring the lessons learned to Austin.

When: Tuesday, July 15, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm (program starts at 6:15 pm)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701)
RSVP here.

 Larry Howe, co-founder Plano Solar Advocates

Since retiring in 2011 from a long-term engineering career in the telecommunications industry, Larry has been pursuing volunteer advocacy work in renewable energy, and more specifically solar energy in Texas.  Along with other Live Green in Plano volunteers, in 2012 he co-founded Plano Solar Advocates (PSA), a grassroots volunteer group of Plano citizens whose mission is to increase awareness and expand the use of solar energy for electricity generation in Plano.  He was recently elected to the board of directors of the Texas Solar Energy Society, a non-profit advocacy and education group that Solar Austin is a chapter of.

Larry has a talent for making solar simple to understand and an exciting way to bring neighbors together.  His work in Plano and other cities in the DFW area should serve as inspiration for people in all parts of Texas.

Join us to learn how solarize is working to expand the use of solar.

Going Solar to Help Control Rising Electric Bills

Mike Fisher lives in southeast Austin with his wife and three daughters. They recently installed solar panels on their home. Mike knows that as his daughters get older their need for energy will increase. He installed solar panels on his home in order to meet his family’s energy needs.

Solar Customers – Mike Fisher from Solar Austin on Vimeo.

#ATXSolarSuccess