Austin Energy gets nod for 150-MW solar PPA at low price
Sunrise in Austin. Author: Jenn Deering Davis.
Texas-based community-owned utility Austin Energy last week said its solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for 150 MW with Intersect Power has been given the green light by Austin City Council.
The cost under the contract will be between USD 10 million (EUR 8.5m) and USD 12 million per year for a period of 15 years. It is expected to help lower customer bills based on current market prices and future price forecasts, Austin Energy said.
GTM Research said this is the lowest solar PPA price so far in the US. Its analyst Colin Smith calculates that the price per MWh comes somewhere between USD 23.50 and USD 27.25, but could be as low as USD 21.
As part of the deal, the utility can buy an additional 30 MW if “it is feasible and has the same favorable economics”.
Austin Energy aims at 65% renewable energy use by 2027. It has a solar target of 950 MW by 2025 and the PPA with Intersect brings it closer to that figure, boosting its solar capacity to 792 MW. With the approved contract, Austin Energy expects to be able to cover with renewable power 51% of customer demand by 2020.