--Subject to Change--
TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 5PM: Orientation: Environmental Justice and Renewable Energy in Austin
Participants should arrive in downtown Austin by 5pm on Tuesday evening. For our first event, we will meet with a diverse mix of Austin community members interested in renewable energy (including activists, organizers, university students and faculty, and clean-tech industry professionals) at the Solar Austin Happy Hour at Scholz Beer Garten between 5:00 and 5:30pm. From 5:30-6:30, we will have a brief showcase of the energy and environmental research and educational programing under way at local universities in Austin. This will be followed by 15-30 minutes of Q&A. After the showcase, we will break for dinner and drinks at the Scholz Garten, with extended time for informal hang out and conversation (7-8:30pm).
The campus participants will then relocate to the Airbnb where the Austin Field Campus Design Team will provide a brief orientation to the campus, including a reiteration of the campus theme and goals, a quick note on the campus logistics and schedule of events, and ending with introductions of our Field Team Leaders and our field campus participants. Participants will then break out into their respective Field Teams to specify individual roles and to plan their approach for data collection and analysis in the coming days.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25: ERCOT, Sand Hill, and Austin Energy
We will have breakfast and informal conversation at the Airbnb at 7:30am. Our first field site visit will consist of a tour of ERCOT’s Control Room and Data Center (9-11am). At ERCOT, we will learn what city-wide efforts to transition to 100% renewables will mean for the Texas grid from the perspective of Independent System Operators. Next we will visit the Sand Hill Energy Center, a 570 MW capacity natural gas fired power plant constructed over the course of 2001-2010 (11:30am). After the tour, we will break for lunch and to discuss what we learned during the tours (1-2:30pm). We will then head to Austin Energy to discuss with organizers and members of the Resource Generation Planning Working Group and Community Climate Plan Steering Committee and Advisory Groups about the city’s ongoing efforts to update and incorporate equity into their plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change (3-4:30pm). We will close the day by attending the a climate action coalition meeting (5pm), where local environmental activist organizations will gather to share information and discuss their ongoing campaigns. Dinner and discussion at the Airbnb 7-8:30pm.
THURSDAY, MARCH 26: Bullock Museum, Decker, and Webberville
Thursday will begin with a visit to the Bullock Museum’s exhibit on Texas Oil and Gas, which is funded by the Texas Oil and Gas Association (9am-10:30am). Next, we’ll have a tour of the Decker Creek Power Station, a 927 MW capacity natural gas fired power plant constructed from 1967-1978 (11-12:30pm). We will then break for a sack lunch pick-nick at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park (12:45-1:45pm). After lunch, we will take a tour of the Webberville Solar Project, a 30MW capacity solar plant that became operational in 2011 (2:-3:30pm). We will then conclude our tour for the day with a short debrief and "refueling" session at Cherrywood Coffee House (4-4:30pm).
At 5:30, James Adams will host a panel discussion with long-time organizers, educators, and activists in Austin, Texas. Here, panelists will be asked to reflect on their experiences and perspectives on the history of environmental justice issues in Austin, as well as ongoing local efforts to transition the city of Austin away from carbon fuels to 100% renewable energy. The panel will be followed by dinner and informal discussion at 7pm.
FRIDAY, MARCH 27: Mueller Energy Center and Pecan St.
On Friday, we will have breakfast along with a morning work session at the Airbnb (8-10am). Next we will take a tour of the Robert Mueller Energy Center’s 4.6 MW combined heat, cooling, and power facility, constructed in 2006 (10:30-12pm). We will break for an hour lunch at Mueller Town Center (12-1pm). After lunch, we will reconvene at the nearby Pecan Street Inc., where we will learn about this first and only real-world, electricity-gas-water test bed and research center of its kind (1-2pm). After Pecan Street, we will relocate to the Austin Central Library to finish up a rough draft of our artifacts and teaching materials (2:30-5pm). At 5pm we will have a final meeting and group discussion, after which campus participants are free to explore Austin at their leisure.