Going Solar in Austin, Texas

July 30, 2009

We’re working hard to make your Ubuntu Server as energy efficient as possible, and I’m quite proud of that.

Personally taking it one step further, last week I signed a contract on a 6650W Photovoltaic System, to be installed on my roof while I’m in Dublin for the Karmic Distro Sprint.

The system consists of a total of 38 Solarworld 175 Watt Solar Panels, and a PVI-6000-OUTD-US Aurora Photovoltaic Inverter. It should supply the majority of our electricity (according to PV Watts) and pay itself off within a couple years (after rebate).

We contracted the system through my buddy Vincent Guerrero of Texas Solar Power Company, here in Austin, Texas, taking advantage of one of the most generous and progressive solar rebate programs in the country, offered by Austin Energy.

I figured I should blog our experience in case anyone else out there is considering the same. I’ll keep you posted on the installation and performance of the system.



12 Responses to “Going Solar in Austin, Texas”

  1. Dan Says:

    Very interesting. I'll be interested to see how that works for you 🙂

  2. Niko Says:

    I have started slowly with one 100W solar panel on my balcony, that is theorically producing 500Wh/day: enough to power my laptop and others small electronics.

    Sounds like your installation is a huge one!

  3. Joel Says:

    If you don't mind my asking how much did the system cost, and did you have to front all the money and then get the rebate for some afterward?

  4. Dustin Kirkland Says:

    I'd rather not go into financial details here. Sorry.


  5. Enkrates Says:

    I'm a fellow Austinite looking forward to more details. My wife and I moved here about a year ago and have been thinking about installing solar panels pretty much the whole time.

  6. Dustin Kirkland Says:


    Yeah, the rebate looks too good to pass up.

    If the installation goes as planned, on budget, I get my full rebate in a timely fashion, and the system generates the projected amount of power, I'm going to be singing from my rooftop that any Austinites with full sun exposure should be doing the same 🙂


  7. Bill Sullivan Says:

    "If the installation goes as planned, on budget, I get my full rebate in a timely fashion, and the system generates the projected amount of power…"

    Sounds very optimistic. 🙂

    Well, I'd love to grab a drink sometime and hear the details about the plan, either before or after you have it installed. I'm a big "This Old House" fan, so I'm always happy to hear about home upgrades. 🙂

  8. Matt Domsch Says:

    We're in the beginning of a big house remodel, so I've only started to think about adding solar panels to the roof. Between Austin Energy's rebates, the EPA EnergyStar tax credit of 30%, and possibly other discounts through my employer, the price could become quite reasonable. This being Austin, I'm running just under 100KWh/day in the summer, and with gas heat only about 30KWh/day in the winter.

  9. mathew Says:

    We've got a nice south-facing roof, and with the current heat wave, I've been thinking about solar some more. It's really the financial details that interest me, though, so if you're not willing to elaborate on those…

  10. Dustin Kirkland Says:


    Every situation is totally different. Even a 1 degree difference in any direction, or a tree nearby can totally change your yield. I recommend that you give the good folks over at Texas Solar Power Company a call, see txspc.com.


  11. shakaran Says:

    Amazing! Here in Spain the solar industry grows 500% every year.

    Ubuntu more green!

  12. Aman Says:

    Congrats on the Solar Panels. They look great! Did the discounts from your employer pan out, and what was it so I can see if my employer will match it? I am looking into getting solar…

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