Austin Energy Generation Plan

Austin Energy is currently working to update its Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan to extend through 2024.

This is our chance to make sure that Austin’s solar goals are expanded, as has been recommended by the Austin Local Solar Advisory Committee and City Council.

Solar Austin calls on all solar supporters to get involved in this process.

Background

In 2007, Austin City Council adopted the Austin Climate Protection Plan (ACPP) to build a more sustainable community.  Every city department was subsequently tasked to create action plans intended to ensure that departmental operations were consistent with the ACPP.  Austin Energy developed the Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan to 2020 (Generation Plan).  The Generation Plan was to be updated every 2 years.

Current Goals for 2020

  • Reduce electric demand by 800 MW through energy efficiency programs
  • Supply 35% of energy needs with renewable energy sources (will be achieved in 2016)
  • Install 200 MW of solar energy capacity (w/ 100 MW local, inc. 50 MW customer controlled)
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 20% from 2005 levels

Austin Energy’s Priorities for the 2014 Update

  • Adding an 800 MW natural gas plant to the energy portfolio
  • Keep the Fayette coal plant running until 2025

Sustainable Priorities to Improve the Generation Plan

  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2024 from 2005 levels.
  • Increase the Use of Renewable Energy:
    • Increase renewable energy generation goal to 50% by 2020.
    • Increase renewable energy generation goal to 60% by 2024.
    • Increase solar energy capacity goal to 400 MW by 2020 (w/ 200 MW local, inc. 100 MW customer controlled).  The Local Solar Advisory Committee found that this would yield a net of $300 million in local economic benefits (http://bit.ly/LSACreport).
    • Establish solar energy generation goal of 10% by 2024.
    • Increase electric demand reduction (energy efficiency) goal to 1,200 MW for 2024.
      • Limit the Use of Fossil Fuels:
        • Don’t expand the use of natural gas.  Over a 20 year period, natural gas is almost as harmful to the climate as coal (http://bit.ly/NatGasClimate).
        • Retire the Fayette coal plant by 2018. (Meeting this goal would require greater increases in renewable energy and/or demand reduction than proposed above.)
  • Don’t re-license the South Texas Project 1 & 2 nuclear reactors. They’re set to retire in 2027 and 2028, but would operate for another 20 years past those dates if re-licensed.
  • Expand the local clean energy economy by giving priority to local companies which employ local workers and contribute local workforce development programs on any utility owned solar projects in the Austin area.
  • Improve Equity in Clean Energy Budgets:
    • Expand access to solar energy by developing a solar program specifically targeted at low income residential customers.
    • Require money allocated to the low income weatherization program be spent.

How You Can Help Improve the Generation Plan

  • Public engagement in this Generation Plan update is critical.
    • The energy sources we chose to invest in now will continue to have climate, air quality, water use, local economic development, affordability, and equity implications for years to come.
    • City Council must approve the Generation Plan update.  Council will require the improvements we want if enough people call for them.  Help us get this done!
  • Austin Energy is hosting 3 stakeholder meetings to give the public a chance to learn more and give input to staff in group discussions.
  • The public hearing on the Generation Plan update will be in front of the Electric Utility Commission, an appointed citizen commission, whose job it is to review and analyze all Austin Energy policies and procedures.
    • WHERE: 1st floor assembly room, Town Lake Center (721 Barton Springs Rd)
    • WHEN: March 17 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
    • HOW: Show up and sign up to speak.
  • Submit your suggestions to Austin Energy using their online form.
  • Contact us to get involved:

Download this information in PDF format.


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