Tag Archive: local solar

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020

You are cordially invited to join the Austin solar community for a discussion on the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020.

This event will welcome Matt Johnson who will share insights and perspective into the development and adoption of the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020 in 2010, including points on revising resource acquisition and management strategies in light of up to date market and environmental realities.

We will also welcome representatives to the Happy Hour stage to offer an environmental community perspective on this issue and describe the city’s 2 year generation plan update process.

Matt JMatthew Johnson is a Sr. Account Executive at the clean technology communications and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group. Prior to Mercom, Matt worked for Public Citizen’s Texas Office and the D.C.-based Environmental and Energy Study Institute. In 2009, he was selected to represent consumer interests on the Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force, and organized the Clean Energy for Austin Coalition, which supported city council passing the Resource and Climate Protection Plan in 2010. He holds an MA in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute and a BA in History from Augustana College.

When/Where: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (CST)/Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701 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.

 RSVP (desired but not required)

Solar Austin Happy Hour: Pat Sweeney, Jan 22nd

Mr. Pat Sweeney, Director of Energy & Market Operations for Austin Energy, will join us this January to mark the two year anniversary of operation of the 30MW Webberville PV power plant. What have we learned by integrating that facility into the city’s portfolio of power production? How are near zero marginal cost energy sources best deployed into the ERCOT wholesale market? What operational highs and lows have occurred? Join us to hear all about how Webberville, which remains the single largest PV power facility in TX (380 acres, over 127K panels), is serving Austin and what lessons are being applied to recent and future utility scale solar RFPs from the city.

RSVP HERE


Where: Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701

When: Wednesday, January 22nd, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

webberville

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Austin Solar Victories

Many of you probably remember our concern when Austin Energy proposed slashing the solar budget by 42% for fiscal year 2014 – which we’re now in. But public outcry and our meetings with Austin City Council members made a difference. The budget was fully restored and we can expect to have another great year for solar in Austin.  That was back in September.

Sun in fistJust yesterday, Austin City Council passed a resolution that expands the city’s commitment to development local solar.  Of our existing solar goal of 200 megawatts (MW) by 2020, half will now have to be locally sited and half of that local solar will have to be distributed systems that are owned or leased by customers.

That’s great news for local jobs, because there’s no way to outsource installation of small, local solar systems.  Someone has to be here to do a site inspection, file the paperwork with Austin Energy and actually install the system on someone’s room or in their yard.

City Council also instructed the City Manager to consider adopting the 400 MW by 2020 solar goal put forth by the Austin Local Solar Advisory Committee (LSAC) into the Generation Plan update next year.

We have Council Members Chris Riley, Laura Morrison and Bill Spelman to thank for leading this effort, but the resolution was adopted unanimously, and I know that others on the Council are eager to see solar thrive in Austin.  Send the City Council a thank you note.

With the help of the many people in Austin who are concerned about climate change, air pollution, water use, creating good local jobs, and keeping electric rates affordable, we’re going to make sure the 400 MW solar goal is included in the Generation Plan in 2014.

In the meantime, we can turn our focus to ensuring that solar owners continue to be credited a fair value for the energy they put out on the grid for the rest of us to use and that more attractive solar financing options are made available.  Better financing, options for solar leasing and a community solar program are all essential for expanding access to solar for lower and middle-income families and all of us who rent.