U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visits Austin, with praise

As part of a trip to promote President Barack Obama’s energy strategy, Moniz chatted with local clean energy companies and leaders, including clean technology startups from the Austin Technology Incubator and the cleantech cluster development group CleanTX. He also toured the Pike Powers Laboratory and Center for Commercialization, a testing bed and commercialization facility near the UT campus.

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Report: Residential Solar Systems Reduce Summer Peak Demand by Over 50% in Texas research trial

In most markets, rooftop solar panels are promoted as a way for electric utility customers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel power and — eventually — save money on their electric bill. According to a new PSR Analytics report from Texas-based energy research firm Pecan Street Research Institute, residential solar systems, and particularly west-facing rooftop systems, may also act as a fairly impactful peak demand reduction device for utilities struggling to meet afternoon demand in hot summer months.

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GreenTech Media: Are Solar Panels Facing the Wrong Direction?

West-facing rooftop solar panels produced 49 percent more electricity during peak demand compared to south-facing panels, according to a new study from Pecan Street Research Institute. The research is the first of its kind to evaluate the energy production of solar panels oriented in different directions. Pecan Street analyzed 50 homes in the Austin, Texas area. Some had only south-facing panels, others had west-facing panels, and some had both.

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EVs and the Grid are A-OK

In a study of vehicle charging in a neighborhood with one of the highest residential concentrations of electric cars in the country, researchers found that owners are charging their EVs much less during hot summer afternoons than most behavioral models predicted.

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