Solar Power

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Race teams from universities across North America are in Austin this weekend to help push the limits of solar technology.

Marufish/Flickr

Imagine a house. Now imagine the roof. What do you see? Some shingles. Maybe a chimney? But really there’s so much more.

District 7 City Council Member Leslie Pool has sponsored a resolution to make more Austin homes solar-ready. Part of that means leaving roof space on new construction without the pipes and vents that prevent solar panels from being installed.

TAMIR KALIFA VIA TEXAS TRIBUNE

Texas leads the country in wind power generation. But solar power is starting to take off. As the industry grows, KUT’s Mose Buchele takes a look at what affect it might have on your electric bill.

ERCOT Report Suggests a Bright Future for Solar in Texas

Jun 17, 2016
Austin Monitor

Right now, Texas gets most of its electricity from coal and natural gas power plants. But a new report from the agency that runs Texas’ electric grid says the way the state generates electricity could be changing in the next few years.


Marcelo del Pozo/REUTERS

From StateImpact Texas:

About an hour’s drive outside of Sevilla, Spain’s old city, past grazing black-footed pigs and olive orchards, sits the Abengoa Solucar complex, and it’s truly a sight: Imagine cresting a hill and then all of the sudden seeing several large towers, over 500 feet high, with hundreds of beams of light striking them — solar rays from an army of mirrors arrayed in a circle on the ground below. They’re called heliostats.

“These heliostats are reflecting solar radiation toward the receiver that we have at the top of the tower,” says Valerio Fernandez, manager of the complex. The rays from the heliostats strike the top of the towers, like hundreds of magnifying glasses focused on one point in mid-air. The top of the tower shines so bright, you can’t look at it without sunglasses.

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