AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Austin Energy along with Austin City Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and Village of Webberville Mayor Hector Gonzales today announced the activation of a 30 megawatt (MW) solar power plant located within the Village of Webberville, Texas. The activation of the power plant marks the first utility-scale solar deployment for Austin Energy and helps bring the utility one step closer to achieving a 35% renewable energy mix by 2020. It is the largest active solar project of any public power utility in the country, the largest active project in Texas and among the largest of all operating solar projects in America. The project was activated on December 20, 2011.
The announcement was made at a ribbon cutting event held at the 380 acre photovoltaic solar farm. The 30 MW solar project is comprised of more than 127,000 photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis trackers that follow the sun to maximize solar energy production. The utility-scale solar power plant is expected to produce more than 61 million kilowatt-hours of clean solar energy in the first year of operation alone.
"The Webberville Solar Project exemplifies Austin's leadership and investment in a clean energy future," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "The City of Austin is proud to support a project that reduces emission levels in our community, provides energy during hot summer days when it is needed most and promotes new technologies that future generations can benefit from."
The utility-scale solar project was made possible through a 25-year solar power purchase agreement in which Austin Energy will purchase the energy at a fixed rate along with the renewable energy credits.
It is expected the 30 MW solar project will generate more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy over 25 years. That is enough energy to power more than 136,000 average U.S. homes (5,000 homes per year) while offsetting more than 1.6 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.
About Austin Energy
Austin Energy is the nation's 9th largest community-owned electric utility and serves more than 400,000 customers and a population of almost 1 million. Austin Energy provides service within the City of Austin,Travis County, and a small portion of Williamson County. As a publicly owned power company and a city department, Austin Energy returns profits to the community annually. That money helps fund City services such as fire, police, EMS, parks, and libraries. The utility has provided $1.5 billion in dividends to the community since 1976.
SOURCE Austin Energy