September 14, 2012
Increasing its budget for solar energy the City of Austin also supports the solar industry and solar jobs in the area. Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association joins others in the Austin Solar Industry in recognizing the City of Austin for this bold move.
Tuesday the Austin City Council approved a budget that increased funding for local solar programs to $7.5 million, making the fiscal year 2013 budget the largest for solar to date. Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, TREIA commends the City Council and Austin Energy members for taking this bold step.
Many TREIA members played active roles advocating for a consistent and long-term approach to solar development in Austin. Steve Wiese, President of the TREIA Board of Directors, chairs the City’s Local Solar Advisory Committee (LSAC), and several other TREIA members are among the 20 member of the LSAC. The Committee, which represents a broad cross-section of interested citizens, was created by the City Council earlier this year and charged with developing a goal and strategic plan for optimizing local solar development.
“The approved budget is an appropriate response to both current demand and historical spending,” said Wiese. ”The Council’s action potentially expands both the residential and commercial markets for solar energy in Austin.”
"An incremental increase in the annual investment in distributed local solar is a positive signal that the city sees citywide benefits in this investment. Additionally, it signals to me to continue to invest in people,” said Stan Pipkin, VP Managing Director Lighthouse Solar. He continued, “By attracting and hiring local talent, we can innovate within our industry and lower the cost of solar to our community."
In his blog, Cyrus Reed, Acting Chapter Director, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and TREIA member said, “The increase should mean more solar panels get installed on home and commercial rooftops, and more local jobs are created. With the new budget, local advocates estimate that some 10 MWs of additional solar could be installed in Austin next year.”
TREIA is the oldest renewable energy non-profit trade organization in Texas. For more than a quarter century, it has promoted development of sustainable, renewable resources and their wise use. Its membership includes hundreds of business leaders and energy experts across the state.
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