Author Archive: KaibaWhite
Later this year, Austin Energy will begin offering its customers an opportunity to sign up to receive solar energy generated at community solar installations located at the Kingsbery Substation in East Austin, and, in the future, from other solar installations located throughout Austin. Community solar will allow customers who rent or whose homes cannot be fitted with their own solar panels to be able to purchase local solar energy.
Austin Energy is currently considering several options for how to allow residential customers to enroll in its community solar program, including:
- a capacity-based subscription with an upfront fee and monthly production credits (Austin Energy estimates investment would pay back in 13 years, with $90/month in savings for 12 more years);
- a capacity-based subscription with a monthly fee and monthly production credits (Austin Energy estimates the average customer would save $6/month);
- a fixed community solar fee that would replace the power supply adjustment (PSA) fee (this would initially be more expensive, but could be cheaper in later years);
- a community solar fee that would be added to the PSA (similar to GreenChoice, where customers forever pay more);
- a customer ownership model, where customers would buy a number of panels upfront and receive monthly production credits (Austin Energy estimates investment would pay back in 15 years, with $90/month in savings for 10 more years); and
- a low-income community solar offering subsidized through customer charges.
Please note that you may have to enable pop-ups and if you see a note that asks for a Login ID and Password, just ignore that and click “Begin Survey.”
The survey will close on June 1st, so don’t wait!
We’re shaking things up a bit! Instead of a speaker, our May happy hour will be a screening of “Catching the Sun,” an exciting film the hopes and challenges of solar energy. It’s about job creation, bringing people affordable energy, political battles, and helping the fight against climate change.
An unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur race to lead the clean energy future. But who wins and who loses the battle for power in the 21st century?
Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, Catching the Sun captures the global race to lead the clean energy future. Over the course of a solar jobs training program, Catching the Sun follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry. With countries like China investing in innovative technologies and capitalizing on this trillion-dollar opportunity, Catching the Sun tells the story of the global energy transition from the perspective of workers and entrepreneurs building solutions to income inequality and climate change with their own hands. Their successes and failures speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will the U.S. actually be able to build a clean energy economy?
When: Tuesday, May 24, 5:30 – 8:00 pm (film starts at 6:15)
Where: Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto St)
Tickets: $10 ($5 students) – Buy Here
Karen Knight’s enduring passion for energy policy, civic ecology, and high-performance architecture has made her an innovator and role model in Austin. Putting her money where her mouth is, she renovated her own home to receive the Austin Energy Green Building program’s 5-star rating, demonstrating clearly that it is possible to integrate modern architecture in an energy-positive environment. An Ambassador for the Living Building Challenge in Austin, she also supports the healthy engagement of kids with nature through the Shoal Creek Conservancy, Austin Families in Nature, and the Dell Children’s Medical Center Trust. Along with her partner, Graham Pierce, she is currently stewarding 67 acres at Ardor Wood Farm in Red Rock, TX to be shared as a holistic, regenerative wildlife & human retreat experience. Her urban development initiatives for an Ardor project in central downtown Austin continue to move forward to bring together internationally recognized innovators in sustainability, energy, and design to fulfill the vision of a collaborative space fusing hospitality with exquisite, living architecture along the greenbelt trails of Shoal Creek.
Solar is booming, but the share of electricity coming from solar is still very small. As that changes, it will be important to find ways to integrate larger amounts of solar energy in ways that keep the grid stable. As has already been demonstrated in Hawaii, it’s important to take these steps early to avoid having solar production curtailed from homes and businesses. To that end, Austin Energy has been awarded $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.
The grant will fund the Austin Energy SHINES (Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV) Project, which will pilot and research solar, battery storage, and smart inverter technologies. Included in this project is the much anticipated community solar installation, battery storage to be co-located with the community solar and battery storage at the Mueller development.
Karl Popham, Austin Energy’s Manager of Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies, will join us this month to talk about the Austin Energy SHINES Program. Karl has 23+ years experience in emerging technologies, leadership, and consulting. He currently leads Austin Energy’s Emerging Technologies and Electric Vehicle teams to include the award winning Plug-In EVerywhere™ program. Additionally, he is a Department of Energy Principal Investigator on 3 separate initiatives that involve renewables, energy storage, and mobility. He also serves on several research and policy boards relating to energy and innovation.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
5:30 – 8:00 pm
1607 San Jacinto St