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.


Solar Success Stories Campaign Launch!

Solar is doing wonderful things in the Austin community – reducing electric bills, creating jobs and making Austin more sustainable.  That’s why we’re bringing you a short (around 2 min) video each Saturday highlighting someone who is directly benefiting from solar energy.  Of course we’re all benefiting in numerous ways, including from cleaner air and a growing economy.

Solar Customers – Daniel Browning from Solar Austin on Vimeo.

Daniel Browning is an economist and homeowner in southwest Austin. He and his wife got their solar system and August and are enjoying greatly reduced energy bills and doing their part to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

All videos will be posted on Solar Success Stories page of our website as they are released.


Solar Austin Happy Hour: Nonprofits Going Solar

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. Come hear from some of the local nonprofit leaders who have embraced solar.

Lifeworks solar installation - Photo courtesy of Meridian Solar

Lifeworks solar installation
Photo courtesy of Meridian Solar

When: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
(program starts at 6:30pm)

Where: Private room at Scholz Garten
(1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701)

Please RSVP.

Speakers will include:

  • Sunshine Mathon, Design & Development Director at Foundation Communities
  • Mitch Weynand, Chief Operating Officer at LifeWorks
  • Likely one or two other speakers as well.

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.

Solar Austin Happy Hour with Austin Energy’s New Solar Manager, Danielle Murray

Danielle Murray photoDanielle Murray, Austin Energy’s new Manager of Solar Energy Services will be featured at the next Solar Austin Happy Hour!

When: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
(program starts at 6:30pm)

Where: Private room at Scholz Garten
(1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701)

Please RSVP.

Most recently, Danielle has been the Renewable Program Manager for the City and County of San Francisco, where she led efforts to develop streamlined permitting and innovative financing mechanisms, served as chair of the Mayor’s renewable energy task force, managed Solar America Cities and SunShot grant awards from the US DOE to reduce solar soft costs, coordinated district energy research and development, and engaged in extensive public and industry outreach.

This will be a great opportunity to ask questions about Danielle’s ideas for growing and improving solar programs in Austin.

Please help us welcome Danielle to Austin!

More Information and RSVP here.

Happy Hour: Community Solar

Residential solar, commercial solar, municipal solar and utility scale solar can all be found in Austin, but community solar is the next big thing.  Austin Energy is currently designing a community solar program, so this is the perfect time to learn about the different options for community solar programs and what might work best for Austin.

Join us to learn how community solar can be used to expand access to the benefits of solar.  If you love solar, but haven’t been able to take advantage of it because you rent or have a shaded or badly oriented roof, you won’t want to miss this event.

When: Wednesday, April 16th, 5:30-8:00pm
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto St)

Please RSVP.

Stanley Florek headshotStanley Florek, CEO & Founder of Tangerine Power, is creating new opportunities for distributed energy finance and deployment in the United States. In prior roles he delivered technology solutions for hundreds of organizations, including Microsoft, John Deere, the US Air Force, and the University of Washington Medical Center. His interest in expanding access to clean energy led him to an MBA at the pioneering Bainbridge Graduate Institute for Sustainable Business, with a concentration in Sustainable Energy Solutions. Stanley is actively involved in distributed energy policy making at the state and federal levels, and co-founded the trade association Washington Local Energy Alliance (WALEA) and national advocacy group Community Power Network. Tangerine Power is Stanley’s 4th venture.

Happy Hour: Transitions with Michael Osborne (Tuesday, March 18th)

Join us for an interesting evening that will start with some good old fashioned networking with the Solar Austin community, and will be topped off by a welcome dose of discussion with one of Austin’s finest and most well known personalities, Michael Osborne, Principal at Osborne Companies, and former Special Assistant to the GM at Austin Energy, as Michael has recently retired from A.E.

Michael Osborne

When: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, program starts at 6:30pm 

Where: Private room at Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701)

Please RSVP.

Michael is an author, inventor, and policy maker.  He has served on the steering committees  of the State of Texas Energy Policy Partnership and the Sustainable Energy Development Council under Governor Ann Richards, and on the Texas Energy Coordination Council appointed by then Governor George Bush.

He has been a renewable energy and climate change activist since the mid 1970s when he designed and built his first passive solar home.  In 1981, heinstalled the first wind farm in Texas. In 1983, his company, Osborne Solar, became the Solarex distributor for Texas.  Throughout the 90s, his company documented and leased the wind resource for the West Texas windfields.  He is one of three founding members of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association. 

His book, Lightland, is a philosophical look at the human potential in light of the challenge of climate change.  His book, Silver in the Mine, is a long term comprehensive energy plan for the City of Austin, Texas. His third is an allegory called Day of the Heart. His most recent work is Beyond Light and Dark. All of his works are available in bookstores and at His blog can be found at earthfamilyalpha

Please join us to welcome Michael Osborne to the Solar Austin Happy Hour stage!

Please RSVP.

State Parking Garages can be found next to, behind and across from Scholz Garten. San Jacinto Blvd., 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and Trinity have parking garage entrances.


Although our happy hours are free and open to all, we hope you’ll consider donating to Solar Austin.  Help us keep solar energy growing in the Austin area.