Austin is leading the way in advancing solar energy in the US. This week, the city was recognized by the US Department of Energy for its work in improving access to solar energy. Together, Austin City Council, local advocates, and Austin Energy have done this by making access to solar energy cheaper and easier. The city has an online permitting process for solar installations and an incentive program that lowers the cost of installing rooftop solar.
On top of that, the city also has strong solar goals. These include:
- Installing 750 megawatts of utility-scale solar by 2025 (or sooner). Utility-scale solar are large solar projects (often in West Texas where the solar resources are better) that are owned by Austin Energy. Austin’s goal of 750 megawatts is actually larger than the total amount of solar energy currently installed in all of Texas.
- Ensuring that Austin has 200 megawatts of local solar by 2025. Local solar is solar energy that is produced right here in Austin, either with smaller utility-operated solar farms or residential rooftop solar. Local solar helps to benefit local solar companies and create good, green jobs in the area.
The US Department of Energy award, “…demonstrates our commitment to supporting clean, renewable sources of electricity as an important choice to fight climate change,” said Austin’s Chief Sustainability Officer Lucia Athens, in a press release . “Advancing solar energy benefits our quality of life by not only reducing the community carbon footprint, but also helping Austin become increasing[ly] resilient and adaptive.” More info>>