Mose Buchele / StateImpact Texas
The 380-acre Webberville Solar Farm outside of Austin.
Austin Energy will soon be getting more of its power from the sun.
The city-owned electric utility has signed a deal, announced today, with a San Francisco-based firm to build the single-largest solar facility in Texas by 2016. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, Recurrent Energy will build a 150-megawatt solar farm in West Texas.
Austin Energy spokesperson Carlos Cordova says the deal will help the public utility and the Austin City Council to achieve two goals, “to have 200 megawatts of all of our energy derived from solar power, and 35 percent of all of our energy be derived by renewable energy.”
The agreement should make Austin the largest city in America with a public power utility delivering 35 percent Green-e certified energy. The utility already has 50 megawatts of local solar power in Austin. Continue Reading
Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
The Public Utility Commission of Texas is proposing a change to the way the state’s electricity market is run. And some lawmakers voiced concerns during a public hearing at the Capitol yesterday.
The Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee hosted a hearing to question the Public Utility Commission, or PUC, about the possible change to the market.
Right now, power companies get paid when they produce electricity. The change could end up paying those power companies twice: once for the power they produce, and a second time just for owning or building power plants. The proposal is aimed at encouraging power companies to build new plants – to help avoid power shortages that have led to rolling blackouts in the past. Continue Reading