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Accelerating Distributed Clean Energy Solutions in Texas: Rocky Mountain Institute Brings High-Impact Teams to e-Lab Forge 2019

Led by diverse public- and private-sector organizations, e-Lab Forge teams will address opportunities to scale the application of distributed energy resources in Texas, from increasing electric vehicle adoption rates to enhancing community resilience.

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 16, 2019 — Today marks the kickoff of Rocky Mountain Institute’s e-Lab Forge: Texas 2019 event, a two-and-a-half-day workshop for teams tackling high-impact, scalable ideas and projects in distributed solar, storage and other clean energy solutions. The event is taking place at Lakeway Resort near Austin.

Forge is modeled on RMI’s national e-Lab Accelerator program, a bootcamp for innovators in the electricity industry aimed at helping teams unlock opportunities to drive projects forward through deep engagement, collaboration and innovation across institutional boundaries. RMI is working with the Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) on team recruitment, event logistics and communications for this e-Lab event, the first to focus on Texas.

“Given the magnitude of Texas’ energy use, the state’s participation and leadership in the clean energy transition will be key to transforming global energy use to support a clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon future,” said Jeff Waller, a principal at RMI. “We are excited by both the ambition of the e-Lab Forge teams and the range of system interventions they’re exploring to support the rapid deployment of distributed clean energy solutions in the state.”

RMI is welcoming the following six teams to e-Lab Forge: Texas 2019:

  • Business Models to Accelerate EV Adoption | In support of expedited electric vehicle (EV) adoption and deployment in Texas’ competitive retail electricity market, this Uplight-championed team seeks to advance stakeholder collaboration and a targeted customer approach to distributed energy resource (DER) programs and technologies.
  • Building a Community College for the 21st Century | This team is investigating the integration of energy efficiency, on-site solar and storage projects for new and existing buildings within the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD). As part of a $1.1 billion capital improvement bond, DCCCD is looking to reduce electricity costs, enhance resilience and serve as a model for community colleges across the state.
  • DERs for State Agencies | Texas Energy Aggregation is leading a rate design effort to reduce the cost and taxpayer expense of state-level energy procurement. Partnering with Texas state agencies, this team will identify win-win business models or rate structures that enable state agencies to deploy DERs across their assets while adding value to their utility.
  • DERs for Community Resiliency | This Austin Energy-led team will work to equip disaster relief centers in Austin with a backup source of power through solar-plus-storage technologies, while identifying opportunities to provide additional market value outside of emergencies.
  • Providing Community Solar to Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Communities in TX | This team, championed by Jewell and Associates, is working to enable LMI communities to harness the financial, social and environmental benefits of distributed clean energy resources through the development of community solar on public buildings in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market.
  • Utility-Enabled Rooftop Solar for Underserved Markets | Austin Energy is leading a second team to explore opportunities to increase solar access in underserved markets, including among LMI customers. The team will work to develop desirable low-cost solar offerings that allow all customers to take advantage of the benefits of solar.

e-Lab’s architecture provides a structured working session designed to drive progress on team objectives, create space to test innovative ideas, reframe obstacles in a collaborative manner and build new alliances across organizations. Trained facilitators and technical experts will lead teams through effective collaboration processes, providing customized coaching, training and feedback to support each team’s unique project.

More information on RMI’s e-Lab initiative and the Forge event can be found at:

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) is committed to enhancing Texas’ economy by positioning Texas as the world leader in the new clean energy industry. TCEC supports a clean energy economy in Texas, based on diverse clean technologies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and increased use of natural gas and other clean fuels, to help Texas achieve its full economic potential in a manner that is affordable and available to all Texans.


RMI – Katie Siegner, Electricity Associate:, 301-943-9389

TCEC – Julie Hillrichs: