Here’s their PR, Austin Energy Activates 30 MW Solar Farm,
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 key was a PPA:
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.In Georgia, PPAs can be made with municipal governments, universities, companies, or even individuals, if SB 401 passes.
An opportunity for EMCs:
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.And that’s from the energy company with the first and largest solar rebates in the country, and now one of the largest solar utility installations in the country. Apparently there’s money in solar!