WE ARE SOLAR AUSTIN.
Our commitment is to advance
and advocate for renewable energy throughout Central Texas.
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 mitigate climate change while creating a healthy community and support for a strong local economy.
We all feel the effects of climate change.
One of the fastest ways to act is to decarbonize our
energy use by promoting solar across communities.
WHAT WE DO
Today, Solar Austin is working to overcome systemic barriers in local solar hiring practices. In 2019, Solar Austin launched a pilot program in partnership with Huston-Tillotson University, a local HBCU, to recruit and place qualified low-income students of color and female students into paid solar internships. After a successful pilot, Solar Austin established its “Pathways to Clean Energy Careers” Program, which has educated over 400 students on solar career opportunities and placed over 50 students in industry roles. Solar Austin also manages a youth education program that provides hands-on training to elementary and middle school students who learn to assemble solar cars from kits and test them outside.
One of Solar Austin’s first successful efforts was to advocate the municipal utility Austin Energy to offer local solar rebates. With Solar Austin’s help, Austin Energy began a rebate program in 2003 that has deployed 65 MW of residential and commercial solar across 10,000 customers to date. Solar Austin remains engaged in policy discussions in Austin, advocating for policies and programs that benefit current/potential solar customers, the local solar industry, and the community at large.
More recently, Solar Austin has focused efforts on improving equity and accessibility to the benefits of solar by creating resiliency hubs on other local nonprofits to bring light to already vibrant but under resourced communities. By hosting workshops to gather information and explore barriers to accessing solar, determine what aspects of solar are most valued, and explore solutions for expanding solar access, Solar Austin has engaged in program development exercises with Austin Energy staff and advocated for policy changes at City Council. We have also created a donation-based installation program to help underserved communities access the benefits of solar.
Solar Austin has grown to host a network of nearly 3,000 supporters throughout Central Texas. We host monthly happy hours and events that draw 40-100 solar enthusiasts, environmentalists, and solar industry employees. Solar Austin also partners with environmental and equity-focused community organizations to co host events and share information to help people navigate solar programs and public engagement opportunities.
LOCAL SOLAR MILESTONES
Solar advocates formalized their grassroots coalition to form Solar Austin and the Solar Austin Foundation.
Austin Energy Solar Rebate Program begins, allowing residential customers to reduce their energy bill while improving our environment.
The City of Austin officially becomes largest local government in the US to subscribe to 100% renewable energy for all city owned facilities.
Central Texas enjoys the lowest installed solar costs in the nation.
*LBNL, Tracking the Sun
La Loma Community Solar Farm is the largest community solar farm in ERCOT, first in TX to offer discounted rate on solar to low-income customers.
Founded in partnership with Huston-Tillotson University, Solar Austin launched our internship program focused on equity and inclusion.
Thanks to grant funding and scaling of programs, Solar Austin hired Tatianna Cannon as its inaugural Executive Director.
As a utility of the City of Austin, Austin Energy is a part of the City's action to build a more sustainable community. To reach the Community Climate Plan goals, Austin Energy worked with local leaders to develop the Austin Energy Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2030.
In accordance with the Austin Community Climate Plan, Austin commits to achieving net-zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
GIVE TO SUPPORT OUR WORK
Your support is essential to help us continue scaling these programs and efforts throughout Central Texas.