Subject: Solarize Plano update to project enrollees (emailed 6/29/13)

On June 27, we held our first Solarize Plano informational meeting. While the turnout was light due to the short notice and various participant conflicts, we had a good discussion about solar energy and the project.  In this email update, we would like to address three main topics:

A. We need more participants

B. Opportunities to meet each other

C. Next planning meeting

A. We need more participants

As of June 28, we have 11 participants enrolled. One of the key messages that we need to communicate to you is that we need to get more people to sign up.  It has only been a few weeks since we launched the project, but we need to get 20 or more enrollees to really make the project a success.  So we are asking those who have signed up, to help get the word out to others in Plano through their personal network. We are asking you to reach out to other people you know that live in Plano and organizations that you are members of (e.g. clubs, faith groups, HOAs, etc) and help spread the word of the project. A few ways to let people know are:

  1. at the website
  2. brief introductory articles at these websites
  1. There will be information about the program in the July Plano water utility bill insert
  2. If your neighborhood uses the social media product, please post information about the project from one of the weblinks above.

B. Opportunities to meet each other

Since all of you were not able to make the June 27 meeting, we would be willing to meet with you individually at a local Starbucks or other location of your choice. Also, we have Plano Solar Advocates volunteers who are eager to show you show their systems.  Please contact us (see contact information below) so that we can link up.

You can also start getting an understanding of solar energy production by checking out some of the online monitoring systems of two of our members, Larry Howe and Bob Litwins.  See the links below.

Larry Howe's system -

Bob Litwin's system -

C. Next planning meeting

We are going to schedule our next group meeting the week of July 22. We will try to schedule meetings on two consecutive nights so that hopefully everyone will be able to attend one of the two nights. Please let us know which nights of this week will work for you, or which specific nights will not work for you.  This will help us in our planning of which two nights to hold the meetings.

To help with recommendations for the size of the PV system for your home, please send us your annual kWh usage. With this information, we can help you do some tradeoffs for the size of the system versus your annual electricity usage. In our part of Texas, a general guideline for electricity production from a south facing PV solar array is that for each 1 kW (dc) installed, it will produce about 1,400 kWh per year.

With these assumptions:

- a typical solar panel today is rated at about 240W dc (a panel is approximately 3ft x 5ft)

- and, assuming that your annual electricity usage is 10,000 kWh

Then some example calculations would be:

10 solar panels - approx 2.4kW PV solar installation, produce 3,360 kWh, approx 34% of your annual usage

15 solar panels - approx 3.6kW PV solar installation, produce 5,040 kWh, approx 50% of your annual usage

20 solar panels - approx 4.8kW PV solar installation, produce 6,720 kWh, approx 67% of your annual usage

Thanks again for your interest and participation.

Larry Howe


Bob Litwins



Plano Solar Advocates (PSA) Volunteers

PSA Google Voice Phone Number (972) 468-1485