Less money. More solar.
That’s the big takeaway from a new solar contract that Austin City Council approved earlier this month. Now that they have Council’s approval, our city’s electric utility (Austin Energy) will purchase all of the output from a new 150 MW solar plant being built in west Texas. Once the plant is complete in 2020, Austin Energy (and all of us) will get 51 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
That’s a big deal. There are few other utilities in the country that can claim that high of a renewable energy penetration. And considering the fact that energy use is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Austin, contracts like these also have a really big impact on climate change.
But wait, there’s more. For the first time ever, Austin Energy projects that this solar contract will actually allow the utility to slightly lower customers’ bills, providing Austinites with an environmental and economic benefit, all at the same time. More info>>
Austin Mayor Steve Adler summed it up pretty succinctly on his Facebook page, writing, “Some good news on solar. Your bills will go down, and our renewable portfolio will go up.”