Building a Better Austin
Innovative Energy Solutions for a Growing City
The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is the part of Austin Energy’s operations that stays ahead of growth by working every day to build a better electric system for our customers.
Austin Energy allocates more than $200 million annually in its CIP budget to increase reliability, prevent power outages, and account for growth. As a community-owned utility in one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, Austin Energy added 9,811 residential customers in 2016. The organization also makes upgrades as infrastructure ages and technology advances. The money comes from electric rates or from long-term borrowing that is backed by electric rates.
The CIP complements Austin Energy’s mission by providing the infrastructure and funding needed to safely deliver clean, reliable energy and excellent customer service to customers at an affordable price.
Repowering Downtown Austin
As downtown Austin continues to see rapid development and growth, Austin Energy will meet the increased demand for electricity by upgrading existing downtown Austin electrical facilities and by building new electrical infrastructure.
The $60 million in improvements will ensure the city’s most important economic engine stays vibrant and continues to grow well into the 21st century.
Repowering North Austin
The population of the Austin metropolitan region continues to grow. A new transmission line is needed in North Austin to reduce the amount of power other transmission lines are carrying in the area to meet electrical demand by customers. By reducing the strain on other transmission lines, Austin Energy is better able to manage how much power is carried on the lines and minimize outages caused by lines carrying power above intended capacity.
Repowering North-Central Austin
Infrastructure and electric systems must change with the times. In recent times, Austin has experienced tremendous growth and development in the North Austin community. This growth has led to increased demand on a more than 50-year old transmission circuit. Upgrades and improvements are necessary. The Repowering North-Central Austin Project will replace outdated transmission lines with modern lines that can carry increased capacity and that are more safe and reliable.
District Cooling Plant #3
Many downtown buildings rely on Austin Energy to deliver chilled water through buried pipes to operate their air conditioning systems. The District Cooling Plant #3 will provide chilled water in the western end of downtown Austin to provide greater capacity and redundancy as downtown continues to grow.
District cooling is an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way of delivering chilled water to air conditioned buildings downtown, eliminating building owners’ need for independent chiller equipment. This in turn saves valuable real estate space, lowers energy usage and lowers emissions from energy production during peak hours of the day.
Austin SHINES: Innovations in Energy Storage
The electric grid is changing and Austin Energy is bringing smarter-grid systems to the Austin region. With the advent of very large batteries and the penetration of solar panels in East Austin, a new effort will explore how batteries, solar panels and advanced electronics can be tied together in new ways to serve our community better.
The Austin SHINES project integrates solar power, energy storage, smart inverters, forecasting tools, market signals, advanced communications, and a software optimization platform to improve the way that we generate, deliver and consume electricity.