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United States

Austin Energy takes on three new wind projects

UNITED STATES: Austin City Council has approved three new wind energy contracts in southern Texas, totalling 570MW.

The three projects will lift the total wind portfolio of state-owned utility Austin Energy to 1.225GW, putting it four years ahead of schedule to meet its 2020 target of 35% of its energy renewable resources.

Two of the contracts, the Los Vientos 3 and 4 developments at 200MW each, are with Duke Energy Renewables. The third, for the 170MW Patriot Wind project, has been made with E.on Climate and Renewables North America.

The projects have purchase terms of up to 25 years and fixed pricing of $23-33/MWh. Los Vientos 3 and Patriot Wind are expected to be online by the end of the year, Los Vientos 4 by mid-2016.

"This is a very attractive time for Austin Energy to invest in more wind energy," said the utility's general manager, Larry Weis.

"The extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind developers, combined with the recent decline in power prices and lower demand for new wind generation means we are able to keep costs down while expanding our renewable portfolio."

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