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.
When compared to coal, per megawatt, this burning [biomass and the like] emits 1.5 times the carbon dioxide (CO2), 1.5 times the carbon monoxide (CO, a toxic air pollutant), and as much particulate matter.
Georgia already has the country’s dirtiest coal plant, at Juliette, near Macon.
Do we need still more CO2?
the Wiregrass biomass plant planned for Valdosta is somehow more efficient than the one
If so, it would be good to hear about that; I don’t recall the topic coming up
at the Lowndes County Commission meeting in which this plant was approved.
Dr. Bussing elaborated in a recent letter:
The fallacy is in believing that plants take up all
CO2 emissions. In fact plants absorb some, the
ocean absorbs more (and as a consequence is
becoming more acidic by the year), but a
portion just stays and builds up in the
atmosphere. That buildup is associated with
global warming, and it doesn’t matter if the
CO2 comes from coal, gas or biomass.