in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

On June 27, Texas-based utility Austin Energy got the go-ahead from the Austin City Council to enter into three new wind power purchase agreements (PPAs) totaling 570 MW. Even with a short-term wind contract expiring in 2015, Austin Energy says this will bring the company's total wind portfolio to 1,225 MW and puts the utility four years ahead of schedule for meeting its 35% by 2020 renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

Two contracts with Duke Energy Renewables Inc., each for 200 MW, will buy power generated in Starr County in the Rio Grande Valley about 30 miles northwest of McAllen. The Los Vientos 3 wind project is expected to be online at the end of 2014, and Los Vientos 4 is expected to be complete by mid-2016.

The third contract buys 170 MW of generation from E.ON Climate and Renewables North America LLC, in Nueces County. The Patriot Wind project, located 25 miles southwest of Corpus Christi, is expected to be online by the end of 2014.

These projects have terms up to 25 years and fixed pricing between $23/MWh and $33/MWh. Austin Energy says the contracted prices are comparable to wind pricing 10+ years ago and are also competitive with natural gas generation.

“This is a very attractive time for Austin Energy to invest in more wind energy,” says Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. “The extension of federal production tax credits (PTCs) for wind developers, combined with the recent decline in power prices and lower demand for new wind generation, means we are able to keep costs down while expanding our renewable portfolio to meet our goals ahead of schedule.”

Austin Energy’s other utility-scale renewable energy resources are a 100 MW biomass plant in Nacogdoches and a 30 MW solar farm in Webberville. An additional 11.7 MW is generated from solar installations on public and privately owned properties in the Austin Energy service area. Austin Energy has a goal to include another 200 MW of solar energy in its renewable portfolio by 2020. Currently, about 27% of the utility’s energy comes from renewable resources.



Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

Duke Energy Commits $500M To Major Solar Expansion In N.C.

The utility company says the investment will help further diversify its portfolio, as well as increase solar power for its North Carolina customers by 60%.


Sensus Issues Refund To SaskPower After Smart Meter Woes

As SaskPower continues to swap out its Sensus units following several meter failures, the two companies have reached an agreement in order for the utility to recover costs.


The Smart Utility's Guide To Choosing A Smart Meter

Electricity providers across North America are taking on grid modernization. This article outlines the myriad factors a utility should consider in order to select the best-possible smart meter.


DOE Report: U.S. Wind Power Prices Reach All-Time Low

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), wind power continues to play a larger role in the U.S.' energy mix and is the cheapest it has ever been in the country.


Survey Reveals What U.S. Consumers Expect From Their Utilities

GE's new survey measures Americans' views on the state and future of the grid, as well as how much extra consumers would be willing to pay for better power reliability.

S&C Electric_id176
Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Future Energy_id187
edf_id180