Austin Energy’s new wind contract increases the utility’s renewable energy sources to 61 percent

August 15, 2019

Austin Energy, the City's community-owned electric utility, will receive up to an additional 200 megawatts (MW) of Texas wind power from an agreement with E.ON Climate & Renewables. The Austin City Council authorized the 12-year power purchase agreement August 8. Once the project reaches commercial operation in December 2020, Austin Energy customer needs will be met with approximately 61 percent renewable resources, which include previously approved contracts coming on line in 2021 and 2023.

Currently, about 41 percent of customer needs are met with renewable resources. According to the Austin Energy Resource Generation Plan, Austin Energy's goals are to achieve at least 55 percent renewable energy by 2025 and commit to 65 percent renewable energy by the end of 2027.

The $17 million per year utility-scale wind contract does not require Austin Energy to invest any funds in the construction, operation or maintenance of the project. The project is located in cultivated croplands near four wind farms currently in operation near the Texas coast.

The agreement provides for a non-escalating fixed price per megawatt-hour (MWh) of energy. This allows Austin Energy to see a pricing benefit from the federal production tax credit available to wind developers. The quantity of production will vary in accordance with wind availability at any given time. The agreement is projected to have a beneficial impact on the Power Supply Adjustment given current market prices and projected future price expectations.

Austin Energy has a diverse portfolio of renewable resources. With the E.ON agreement, the utility has 1,795 MW of wind power under contract.

"Austin Energy is proud of our long record as an innovator and leader in promoting wind power in Texas, including our participation in the first commercial wind farm in Texas back in 1995 and our award winning GreenChoice® retail program," said Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent. "This agreement is part of meeting our ongoing ambitious renewable energy goals."

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