Mission

Solar Austin’s mission is to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy in Central Texas and expand access to the benefits of solar to everyone to build a healthy community and strong local economy.

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January 12 Happy Hour: Everything you always wanted to know about ERCOT but were afraid to ask

Virtually everything related to electricity use in Central Texas is shaped by a single organization:  the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).   Learn how innovations spearheaded by ERCOT are transforming the clean energy world now and what is technically possible in the near future.

Shoal Creek Saloon, January 12.  Plenty of food, drink and parking http://www.shoalcreeksaloon.com/scmap.jpg

Please RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1161771891

Please join us if you can.

Mike Sloan
Chairman, Subcommittee to get Happy about Solar
Solar Austin

Clean Texas Electricity:  What’s Possible?

(or “Everything you always wanted to know about ERCOT but were afraid to ask”)

Time: Wednesday, January 12  ·  5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Shoal Creek Saloon, 909 N. Lamar, Austin.

Have any questions about CREZ? The NODAL market? Reliability impacts of integrating more wind & solar?

All of these issues have a major impact on future clean energy use in Texas….

And if you have been following electric issues in Austin the last few years, its possible you have heard or read claims — which some consider flat-out wrong — such as:

  • Wind power actually increases rather than decreases toxic emissions from the power sector.
  • Power from “the market” is much more expensive than power produced by city-owned power plants.
  • Solar and Wind are not reliable power sources.
  • Austin must have the Fayette Coal Plant to keep its lights on in 2020?

Are these statements True or False or somewhere in between?

A City that wants electricity that’s Clean, Affordable and Reliable needs to know the Real Answers.

Event starts at 5:30 to eat, drink, mix.

ERCOT Panel commences at 6:30, featuring:
Warren Lasher, ERCOT, Manager of Long-Term Planning & Policy

Mark Bruce, Stratus Energy Group (former chair of ERCOT’s Technical Advisory Committee)

Moderator:  Mike Sloan, Virtus Energy

Hope to see you there….

OUR PANELISTS

Warren Lasher
Warren Lasher, ERCOT
http://www.ercot.com/about/

As Manager of Long-Term Planning and Policy for ERCOT, Mr. Lasher’s responsibilities include long-range and regulatory transmission planning studies.  His department has been responsible for the development of the CREZ Transmission Plan and recent CREZ implementation studies. Prior to his work at ERCOT, he was employed by the Southern Company in Birmingham, Alabama, where he worked in the System Planning and Engineering organizations.

Mark Bruce
Mark Bruce, Stratus Energy Group
http://stratusenergy.com/aboutus/

Mark Bruce is a co-founder and Principal of Stratus Energy Group, where he enjoys providing business and project development solutions; market analysis and market rules support; and regulatory and public policy assistance for a diverse array of clients in the electric power industry.  Prior to consulting, Mr. Bruce served 6 years as Director of Market and Regulatory Affairs for FPL Energy (now NextEra Energy Resources), served as Chairman of the ERCOT Technical Advisory Committee, and was a Policy Analyst for the Electric Utility Restructuring Legislative Oversight Committee of the Texas Legislature.

Beth Garza
Beth Garza, Potomac Economics — INVITED but not expected due to conflict
bgarza@potomaceconomics.com
http://www.potomaceconomics.com/markets_monitored/ERCOT

Beth is now Deputy Director of the ERCOT Independent Market Monitor, was a former Manager at ERCOT, and a former Austin Energy manager responsible for generation planning.  While she is not expected to participate in our panel, Beth is an outstanding resource for decision-makers seeking an independent expert opinion for electric issues in and around Austin.

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Green Power Investment, Love It or Hate It?

In what promises to be a lively evening, Solar Austin has invited representatives of community groups that don’t always agree with clean energy enthusiasts for a robust discussion of issues shaping Austin’s energy future. Affordability and Green Power champion Rep. Eddie Rodriguez will also offer his insights.

Shoal Creek Saloon, Dec. 15.  Plenty of food, drink and parking http://www.shoalcreeksaloon.com/scmap.jpg

Register Here

Please join us if you can.

Mike Sloan
Chairman, Subcommittee to get Happy about Solar
Solar Austin

Talk: Green Power Investment: Love It or Hate It ?

Time: Wednesday, December 15  ·  5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Shoal Creek Saloon

909 N. Lamar, Austin.

Some in Austin say Green Power is too expensive.  Our solar goals, too ambitious.  Local media report green power will raise electric bills, leaving some groups concerned.

While present day challenges are very real, a careful look at the facts suggests renewables and energy efficiency have thus far provided more value than cost in Austin.   If we can do it smart, future green power likewise can be cost-effective and help control electric bills.

The current situation conjures up the Cool Hand Luke line: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Solution? Let’s get together and communicate.

The Dec. 15 event is an opportunity for those interested in a greener, cleaner future to reach out to those who may see the world differently.

Mike Sloan will lead the conversation by offering a wide range of information and provocative ideas on a number of topics, ranging from Austin Energy’s spending trends,  affordability of different supply options, to business model reform.

A diverse panel of commentators will respond with wider community views, with opportunities for additional comments from those in attendance.

Event starts at 5:30 to eat, drink, mix.

Conversation on Austin’s Energy Future — and how to get our Green Mojo back — commences at 6:30. Please participate.

PRESENTER:
Mike Sloan, Virtus Energy & PowerSmack

PANEL OF COMMENTATORS:

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Texas House of Representatives
GaryBernie” Bernfeld, Austin Electric Utility Commission
Roger Borgelt, Austinites for Action, Co-Chair
John Sutton, BOMA & CCARE

PRESENTER & PANELIST INFO

Mike Sloan, Virtus Energy & PowerSmack
For more than 20 years, Mike has consulted exclusively on renewable energy policy, education and project development for a wide range of projects in North America, Europe, Africa, and Hawaii using wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and/or hydropower. During Mike’s long tenure as Managing Consultant of The Wind Coalition, Texas became the #1 Wind State in the U.S.  Mike played an instrumental role in development of Texas’ landmark Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ), Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and Renewable Energy Credit (REC) programs — generally regarded as “best practices” models in the U.S.  Locally, Mike chaired Austin’s Sustainable Energy Task Force (developed GreenChoice), was a founder of Solar Austin (advocated for solar rebate program), was a member of Austin’s 2009 Generation Planning Task Force and founded PowerSmack.org a forum on energy and politics in Austin Texas.

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Texas House of Representatives
http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist51/rodriguez.htm
First elected in 2002, Representative Eddie Rodriguez currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Transportation Funding, on the Public Safety Committee and the Technology, Economic Development and Workforce Committee.  Eddie was born in McAllen, Texas, and received degrees from the University of Texas in Government (1995) and Law (2008). Eddie’s legislative focus is on regional transportation, affordable housing, health and human services and the promotion of renewable and sustainable energy as part of a statewide approach to improving environmental quality and creating economic development opportunities for Texas.

GaryBernie” Bernfeld,  Austin Electric Utility Commission
http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/cityclerk/boards_commissions/meetings/27_1.htm
Gary “Bernie” Bernfeld is a Commissioner with the City of Austin Electric Utility Commission as well as on the board or active with a number of other community organizations;  he was also a stakeholder on Austin’s ECAD taskforce.   Bernie has 30 years in finance and credit and has worked for the last 20 years in mortgage with the last 10 as a Sales Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.



Roger Borgelt,  Austinites for Action, Co-Chair
http://www.austinitesforaction.org/
Austin lawyer Roger Borgelt has twenty years’ experience in the practice of progressive environmental, administrative, utility and professional licensure law. A former Assistant Attorney General of Texas and Deputy Chief of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, Borgelt entered private practice in 2006 and has been active in community activities, including as co-chair of Austinites for Action.

John Sutton, BOMA & CCARE
http://www.ccarenergy.org/
Sutton is Assistant Vice President  of the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation and is the energy representative for the Building Owners and Managers Association. He served as a member of Austin’s Generation Resource Planning Task Force in 2009 and is a board member of the Austin-based Coalition for Clean Affordable and Reliable Energy (CCARE).

December 8: Mike Sloan

During this festive holiday season, please join Solar Austin December 8, for a lively conversation on Austin’s energy future.

Austin has long been a leader in green power, but in recent years an increasing number of community voices characterize Green Power as unaffordable.

While this does not match the facts, Austin’s efforts with solar and renewables do seem to be slipping.

What does Austin need to do to get its Green Power mojo back?

Shoal Creek Saloon, Dec. 8. Plenty of food, drink and parking

Click to RSVP

Happy Holidays!

Mike Sloan
Chairman, Subcommittee to get Happy about Solar Solar Austin

Talk: Getting Austin’s Green Power Mojo Back
Time: Wednesday, December 8 · 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Location: Shoal Creek Saloon. 909 N. Lamar, Austin.

Some in Austin say Green Power is too expensive. Our solar goals, too ambitious.

Rubbish.

If Austin’s city council, citizen advisors and utility executives take a careful look at the facts — and eliminate the local double standards that favor burning fossil fuel over using clean energy — it’s clear that renewables and energy efficiency already provide more value than cost in our community.

Yet present day challenges are very real. Future green power must be done smart and cost-effectively. It is essential that all interested in a greener, cleaner future work together effectively, as well as reach out successfully to those who see the world differently.

Mike Sloan

Mike Sloan

Energy policy expert Mike Sloan will lead the conversation and offer a wide range of information and provocative ideas in areas ranging from Austin Energy spending trends, affordability of different supply options, and business model reform.

Event starts at 5:30 to eat, drink, mix.

Conversation on Austin’s Green Mojo commences at 6:30. Please participate.

Mike Sloan

For more than 20 years, Mike has consulted exclusively on renewable energy policy, education and project development. Serving industry, government and the non-profit community, Mike brings passion and technical expertise to champion ideas that work for individual businesses and the broader public interest. Career highlights include:

  • Texas became the #1 Wind State in the U.S. during Mike’s long tenure as Managing Consultant of The Wind Coalition. Texas’ installed wind capacity grew 200-fold in 10 years and now exceeds 10,000 MW.
  • Successful Renewable Energy Policy. Mike played an instrumental role in development of Texas’ landmark Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ), Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and Renewable Energy Credit (REC) programs — generally regarded as “best practices” models in the U.S.
  • Technical and Business Consultant for a wide range of projects in North America, Europe, Africa, and Hawaii using wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and/or hydropower; Mike is fortunate to have helped many leading renewable energy development companies, including FPL Energy (wind), Luz International (solar thermal) and PowerLight (PV).

A former solar research analyst for Austin Energy, Mike has been an active citizen on local renewable energy issues. In 1997-1998, Mike chaired Austin’s Sustainable Energy Task Force that developed the framework for GreenChoice, America’s most successful voluntary “green pricing” program. In 2003, Mike was a founder of Solar Austin, which helped Austin establish a solar rebate program and 100 MW Solar Goal. In 2009, Mike served as a member on Austin’s Generation Planning Task Force and founded PowerSmack.org, a forum on energy and politics in Austin Texas.