The ASES National Solar Tour is the largest grassroots solar event in the nation and Houston will be a participant in 2017 as it has in many years past. The tour involved over 30,000 participants in 2016 in more than 60 cities nationwide. The Solar Tour gives the public the opportunity to see and learn first hand about Solar Systems on the homes of Houstonians who have already taken the step towards clean energy. Solar installers, homeowners, and volunteers are available at each home location to discuss benefits, cost, and any other questions regarding solar energy and green technologies. The Solar Tour is free and open to the public. Please check back in September for more information on the October 2017 Houston Solar Tour. Below is the information on the 2016 Solar Tour.
2016 Q2 Houston Solar Tour in Bellaire, TX
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Tour: 9am – 1pm
A) Battery Back Up House (4802 Bellview Drive, Bellaire 77401)
B) Solar Town House (4529 Acacia Street, Bellaire 77401)
C) ‘She’s a Brick, Hooouuse’ (4816 Cedar Street, Bellaire 77401)
D) Evergreen Commons Apartment Complex (8484 Jason Street, Houston 77074)
E) Spanish Revival House (5303 Pocahontas Street, Bellaire 77401)
Battery Back Up House – 4802 Bellview
The solar system at this home is unique because of its “AC Coupled” battery system. With the release of the Tesla Power Wall and Ted Koppel’s Book “Lights Out,” battery backup and energy storage are at the forefront of the solar conversation. This house utilizes an existing platform that is market ready, and it is designed for more advanced battery technologies in the future. This is a 9.52kw Enphase Microinverter system, paired with an Outback Radian 8048 inverter/charger with a 28.8 kwh battery array. The “AC Coupled” battery architecture was created for people who wanted all of the advantages of microinverters as well as back up power for when there is an outage, or for off-grid operation. Even though it was designed for microinverters, it can also be used with cental inverters. It has many advantages over traditional battery architecture, including extended battery life, more reliable solar and battery operation, and extended depth of discharge, just to name a few. To learn more about this architecture and its advantages, stop by during the tour, or reach out to Adaptive Solar Design!
|Property size:||4086 sq ft|
|Power Generation:||9.52 kW installed; yearly generation of 13.31 MWh|
|Solar system cost:||$48,562 before credits; $33,993 after credits|
|Annual savings:||$1331 @ $0.10/watt|
|General contractor:||Adaptive Solar Design|
|Solar system installer & electrician:||Adaptive Solar Design|
|Photo credit:||Nick Paloski|
Solar Town House – 4529 Acacia Street
The owner of this property has a Nissan Leaf electric car, and wanted to power his electric car with solar energy!
|Property size:||1,400 sq ft|
|Power Generation:||6.48 kW installed|
|Solar system cost:||$44,000 before credits, $25,000 after credits|
|System payback:||20 years|
|General contractor, installer, and designer:||Green Light|
‘She’s a Brick, Hooouuse’ – 4816 Cedar Street
Alongside the solar energy project, the homeowner undertook simultaneous efficiency improvement steps at this house to increase the energy efficiency of the home by 20%. This system generated excess power that the homeowner can sell back to the grid.
|Property size:||3710 sq ft|
|Power Generation:||7.83 kW installed|
|Solar system cost:||$64,597 before federal tax credits|
|System payback:||15.1 years|
|General contractor, installer, and designer:||Green Light|
Evergreen Commons Apartment Complex – 8484 Jason Street
Momentum Bay’s project at Evergreen Commons included the installation of 100+ solar-powered attic fans, installation of a 60kW SunPower solar PV power generation system, allowing the main community building to achieve net zero electricity, teaching apartment residents about sustainability, green jobs & green technology via Momentum Bay’s “GREEN [BOOT CAMP]SM for Apartment Communities: A Solar Intensive”, and planting 10+ fruit trees to grow $100,000 of healthy food for residents over the next 20 years.
For more information on Momentum Bay, visit their website:
Spanish Revival House -5303 Pocahontas Street
The solar panels on this house are installed on a Spanish tile roof. A monitoring system tracks the house’s power usage and power production; you can view the data from that system at the following link!
Since installing the system, the homeowner has had experience with different 100% Renewable REP options, including ones with solar buy back plans (TXU, GME) and with no buy back plans (Tri Eagle Energy, Source Energy).
The house is also equipped with other clean technology measures: a Nest Thermostat and a Tesla electric car.
|Property size:||5200 sqft (home)|
|Power Generation:||4.59 kW installed; projected 5650 KWh/year|
|Solar system cost:||$13,878 before credit, $9,715 after credit ($2.12/watt)|
|System payback:||15.63 years|
|General contractor:||Lighthouse Solar|
|Solar system installer and electrician:||Lighthouse Solar|
|Photo credit:||Lighthouse Solar|
Real Solutions for Real People
The Solar Tour’s mission is to raise awareness of solar energy and provide an opportunity for the public to see solar systems in action. The organizers, made up of Houston’s dedicated green leadership, seek to inspire individuals to make sustainable energy choices. We can all benefit from lower utility costs, energy independence, protection from power outages and reduced carbon emissions. Solar energy systems highlighted during the tour include both active and passive solar systems. The Houston Solar Tour is part of the national initiative of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and other groups with the objective of promoting renewable energy and energy independence.
Solar Tour Partners
The Houston Solar Tour is made possible by the efforts of the dedicated Organizing Committee and Team Members, as well as, the Houston Solar Tour partners. Our partners are essential to the success of the tour.