Updated: Thursday, 05 Mar 2009, 11:17 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 05 Mar 2009, 11:17 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin city council has voted 7 to 0 to buy solar power for the next quarter century from the largest solar array in the country.
Gemini Solar Development will build and own the grid on 320 acres in Webberville. Austin Energy will pay $10 million a year, for the next 25 years, to provide 30 megawatts to the city, enough for 5,000 homes.
The project gets Austin a third of the way towards its goal of renewable energy providing a third of the city’s needs. The project will create 600 local construction jobs, and eliminate 180,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
Austin residents will have the option of buying the solar power, through the city’s Green Choice Program. It will cost about 60 cents more per month, but that rate will remain fixed, compared to the wild fluctuations in the cost of fossil fuel. The solar power will come on line by the end of 2010.