- Austin Energy has signed a 20-year, 150 MW solar power purchasing agreement with Recurrent Energy. It is the largest solar deal the utility has ever made.
- Recurrent is now tasked with building the biggest solar generation facility in Texas, which is projected to come online by the end of 2016.
- Recurrent beat Sun Edison, who offered Austin solar at $0.05 per kilowatt-hour, to the deal. Austin Energy had originally been given permission by the City Council to spend up to $525 million for a 25-year, 150 MW contract. Recurrent won the deal by shortening the contract to 20 years. The price of the deal was not disclosed.
The cost of solar has fallen considerably in the past decade, making it an increasingly viable supply option for utilities.
"I think, finally, from a standpoint of solar, we're seeing the next wave of projects at this scale," said Recurrent CEO Arno Harris. "It's the emergence of competitive solar power, and the emergence of solar as a major power generator."
With the deal, Solar will make up a small but significant part of Austin Energy's peak generation of 2,714 MW. Austin Energy is adding to the 50 MW of solar generation it already procured from the Webberville Solar Farm.