Austin Energy, the City's community-owned electric utility, will receive an additional 200 megawatts (MW) of Texas wind power as a result of an agreement recently reached with Portland, Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables. The Austin City Council authorized the purchase on June 22.
Austin Energy has a diverse portfolio of renewable resources. With the Avangrid contract, the utility will have 1,300 MW of wind power under contract. It has an additional 306 MW of utility-scale solar power in its portfolio, with another 320 MW coming online over the next 18 months.
Once operational, the new site will have the capacity to produce enough energy each year to power approximately 54,000 average Austin Energy households with zero-carbon energy. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates three wind farms totaling more than 605 MW in South Texas along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Avangrid Renewables is finalizing its development work with the counties and plans to start construction in January 2019.
"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 Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy General Manager. "This agreement is part of our ongoing effort to meet the City Council's goal of 55 percent renewable power by 2025, as we balance environmental progress with affordability."
Because this project is located along the coast, gulf breezes will generate more energy during the day than West Texas wind sites. The schedule more closely matches the needs of Texas electric consumers. This increases the revenue produced for the utility and lowers cost risks for customers.
When this new wind project comes online, Austin Energy will reach approximately 47 percent of customer demand being supplied by renewable energy.