AUSTIN - The Austin city council voted 8-2-1 to negotiate and execute contracts for between 112 and 162 megawatts (mw) of additional solar energy by 2017. Combined with 288 mw of solar approved two weeks ago and earlier solar investments, the city of Austin is on track to generate approximately 13% of its power from solar energy by 2017. In addition, the council called for 150 mw more to be built or contracted by 2019.The investments are expected to save consumers money over the life of the contracts, reduce global warming pollution, and reclaim leadership from San Antonio for the top city in Texas on solar.
"This is an incredibly good deal for Austin," said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. "The contracts come with record low prices, helping us save money while helping save the planet. The sun that hits Texas every day is an incredible resource that shouldn’t be ignored, where we get enough sun to power the state 170 times over."
Austin's actions today are part of a growing move toward solar. In 2014, an American home or business went solar every 3 minutes on average. ERCOT predicts solar energy will grow almost 4,000 percent in the next 14 years. Environment Texas research shows that solar power could easily meet more than half of the Clean Power Plan targets.