Austin Energy customers will have an opportunity to get power from the new west Texas Midway Solar project that will generate enough power to run 50,000 home all of which has been purchased for Austin.
In addition to this large solar farm, Austin Energy also has two community solar installations.
Palmer Events Center (functioning)
- 185 kW
- Enough to power about 25 homes
La Loma solar installation in east Austin (under construction)
- 2.6 MW
- Enough to power 400-450 homes
- Features a battery the size of a shipping container to preserve energy when demand stays high but supply drops from passing shade clouds
A community solar project—sometimes referred to as a solar garden or shared renewable energy plant—is a solar power plant whose electricity is shared by more than one household.
‘Community solar’ can refer to both ‘community-owned’ projects as well as third party-owned plants whose electricity is shared by a community.
The primary purpose of community solar is to allow members of a community the opportunity to share the benefits of solar power even if they cannot or prefer not to install solar panels on their property. Project participants benefit from the electricity generated by the community solar farm, which costs less than the price they would ordinarily pay to their utility.
Community solar also allows people to go solar even if they do not own property on which to put their own system.
We hope other communities with public power utilities are watching what Austin and other cities like Georgetown and Denton do and consider ramping up renewables in their energy portfolios.
Austin Energy has been outpacing their renewable energy goals handily for years, They are currently at 35% renewable, so why not be even more aggressive with them?
Austin Energy says the reason they have given themselves more time is because the technology is getting cheaper so quickly. It’s one-fifth the price now than it used to be five years ago, so guess their hedging their bets on switching over to 100% renewable hoping pricing will come down even more.