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Austin Energy is the nation’s 8th largest public utility, providing electrical power to more than 420,000 customers and a population of almost one million within a service territory of approximately 437-square miles, including Austin, Texas, Travis County and a small portion of Williamson County. Austin Energy has been providing electric service to customers since 1895.
Austin Energy is a department of the City of Austin. The Austin City Council sets Austin Energy’s policies and strategic direction. Austin Energy returns profits to the community annually to help fund other City services (police, fire, EMS, parks, libraries). Since 2010, Austin Energy’s contributions have totaled more than $100 million each year.
Powering the Community
Austin Energy’s total generation is nearly 3,000 megawatts. The service area is powered through a diverse generation mix of nuclear, coal, natural gas and renewable resources, mainly wind power. Austin Energy has a goal to achieve 35% of its energy supply from renewable resources by 2020. By January 2013, Austin Energy renewables will be delivering about 27.5% of the energy produced by the utility, as reported in its 2012 Generation Plan Update. That portfolio will include 849 MW of wind turbines, 30 MW of large scale solar and 100 MW of wood-chip fueled biomass. Additionally, Austin Energy has a goal to reduce carbon emissions 20% below 2005 levels. Austin Energy is exploring options to reduce its dependence on the coal-fired Fayette Power Project.
Saving Money and the Environment
The Austin Energy energy efficiency program includes a portfolio of energy efficiency offerings for both homeowners and businesses. The program includes a free online Energy Audit that gives consumers feedback on their energy consumption and helps identify ways they can save on utility bills, among other features. Multiple rebates are also available to both residential and commercial customers to help pay for efficiency improvements in homes and office buildings. In 1990, Austin Energy developed the nation's first Green Building program — Austin Energy Green Building. It shares the distinction of being the largest and best established green building program in the country along with Built Green Colorado in Denver. Between 1982 and 2006, Austin Energy achieved its first conservation power plant of 700 megawatts. Austin Energy plans to offset an additional 800 megawatts through energy efficiency between 2007 and 2020.
Supporting Emerging Technologies
Austin Energy is actively involved in the research and development of electric vehicles and public charging stations. Austin Energy has built a Plug-In EVerywhere™ network of 113 publicly accessible plug-in electric vehicle charging stations located on 57 sites throughout the utility’s service territory. Home charging station rebates are offered to Austin Energy’s plug-in electric vehicle customers.
Austin Energy owns and operates two natural gas-fired power plants in Austin: the Decker Creek Power Station and the Sand Hill Energy Center. The utility also owns 50% of units 1 and 2 at the coal-fired Fayette Power Project in LaGrange, Texas. Additionally, Austin Energy owns 16% of the South Texas Project in Matagorda County outside of Houston.
|Generation Resources||Installed Capacity (MW)||Contracted Capacity (MW)||Fuel Type||Installed||Notes|
|Decker Creek Power Station||926||Natural Gas||1970-1988||Steam Unit 1 installed 1970
Steam Unit 2 installed 1988
|Sand Hill Energy Center||570||Natural Gas||2001-2010||Gas Turbine Units 1-4 installed 2001
Combined Cycle Unit 5 installed 2004
Gas Turbine Units 6 & 7 installed 2010
|Fayette Power Project||1690||602||Coal||1979-1980||Steam Unit 1 installed 1979
Steam Unit 2 installed 1980
|South Texas Project||2500||400||Nuclear||1988-1989||Steam Unit 1 installed 1988
Steam Unit 2 installed 1989
|Robert Mueller Energy Center||4.6||Natural Gas||2006||Gas Turbine Unit installed 2006|
|Renewable Resources||Capacity (MW)||Type||Year|
|Sunset Farms||4||Landfill Methane||1996|
|Tessman Road Landfill||7.8||Landfill Methane||2003|
|Webberville Solar Project||30||Solar||2011|
|Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Texas Wind Contract||10||Wind||1995|
|King Mountain Wind Ranch||76.7||Wind||2001|
|Sweetwater Wind Farm 2||93||Wind||2005|
|Sweetwater Wind Farm 3||34.5||Wind||2006|
|Whirlwind Energy Center||59.8||Wind||2007|
|Hackberry Wind Project||165.6||Wind||2009|
|Peñascal Wind Power||195.6||Wind||2010|