Environmental Protection

Austin Energy Contracts for 150 MW Solar Facility

When completed in 2016, the West Texas solar plant will be the largest in Texas.

Austin Energy, the Texas capital city's electricity provider, announced May 15 that it has awarded a contract to Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco-based solar project developer, to build a 150 MW solar power facility in West Texas. The power will be delivered to Austin Energy pursuant to a 20-year purchase agreement.

When the plant is completed in 2016, it will be Texas' largest single solar power plant.

"Recurrent Energy, which is well-established nationally, will construct a West Texas solar plant to provide 150 megawatts of power at a competitive rate," said Larry Weis, Austin Energy's general manager. "This one action gives us a major step forward in meeting the Austin City Council's goal of acquiring 200 megawatts of solar energy while keeping rates in line with affordability goals. Austin Energy's commitment to renewable power began in the 1990s, when it signed up to take power from the state’s first commercial wind plant. We have learned a lot about how to incorporate renewable power into our overall portfolio."

"The Texas market represents one of the most exciting opportunities for the solar industry," said Arno Harris, chairman and CEO of Recurrent Energy. "The industry's growing scale and decreasing costs are enabling us to successfully compete against conventional energy in deregulated markets like ERCOT. This award from Austin Energy further proves solar's ability to move into the mainstream energy mix."

Austin Energy is the nation's eighth largest publicly owned electric utility.

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