Power Plant and District Cooling Facility Tours
Austin Energy offers group tours at two natural gas power plants in Austin as well as a few of the utility’s district cooling plants which use chilled water to cool buildings. These facilities are owned and operated by Austin Energy.
Power Plant Tours
- Decker Creek Power Station — Northeast Austin (natural gas)
- Sand Hill Energy Center — Southeast Austin (natural gas)
Power plant tours are hosted by Austin Energy power plant employees who provide an inside look at how electricity is produced and transmitted via high voltage power lines to homes and businesses.
Visitors are shown the plant’s main control room where generating units are operated by highly-specialized staff. Attendees also receive a rare glimpse at the gas turbines which are used to produce electricity, along with their expansive supporting equipment.
District Cooling Facility Tours
- Mueller Energy Center — Central East Austin (district cooling, thermal storage, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology)
- District Cooling Plant II — Downtown Austin (district cooling, thermal storage)
District cooling facility tours include an inside look at how district cooling works and the thermal storage tanks which allow Austin Energy to produce chilled water during off electric peak hours.
Tours at Mueller Energy Center also include a look at the plant’s Combined Heat and Power technology which is used to generate steam from waste heat. The steam can be used to provide heating for the Dell Children’s Medical Center, and it also produces additional chilled water for cooling.
How to request an tour
Please request a tour at least two weeks in advance of your desired date.
To request a tour, email Power Plant Tours
Please include the following information in your email:
- Your name, title, and telephone number
- The name and size of your group
- The name of the facility you would like to tour
- The tour date and time you are requesting
Austin Energy evaluates individual tour requests on a case-by-case basis.
- Tours must either be for educational purposes or related to utility activities.
- Group size must consist of a minimum 5, maximum 25 people.
- School grade level must be grade 4 or higher.
- One supervising adult is required per every 8 minors (minors are age 17 and below).
- Wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes.
- Adult participants should be prepared to show a valid ID at the plant.
- Austin Energy prohibits the use of still cameras and video equipment. Make special requests in advance if photos or video are required.
- Tour participants must stay with their designated Austin Energy guide at all times.
- Austin Energy will immediately stop the tour if a group member or members violates safety principals, leaves the group, or uses unauthorized recording devices.
- Austin Energy conducts tours at our discretion.
- Adult plant tour participants must pass a criminal background check.
- If necessary, Austin Energy will cancel a tour on short notice to meet business and security needs.
Webberville Solar Farm Tours
Austin Energy purchases power from a 30 MW solar facility in Webberville, Texas located 30 miles outside of Austin. The facility’s owners Long Sol and Met Life offer tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Learn more about public tours of the Webberville Solar Farm