AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin Energy is a step closer to achieving they city's renewable energy supply goal of 35 percent by 2020 with the purchase of power from two new South Texas wind farms.
For the next 25 years, Duke Energy Renewable's The Los Vientos II Windpower Project will add an additional 202 megawatts of wind power to Austin Energy's generation portfolio, while the Whitetail Wind Energy facility built and owned by Exelon Wind adds nearly 95 megawatts.
According to Trade Wind Energy statistics, a single one-megawatt wind turbine generates enough electricity to power 240 to 400 U.S. households, depending on the average wind speed of the site.
Austin Energy's goal to increase its renewable portfolio is part of the city's Climate Protection Plan, which was approved and adopted in February 2007. Originally, the resolution increased Austin's renewable portfolio goal to 30 percent by 2020 until it was updated in February 2011 to 35 percent.
Together these two wind farms bring Austin Energy's complete wind portfolio to 851 megawatts, and Austin Energy's total renewable energy supply up to 27 percent.
"Wind is currently one of the cheapest and cleanest forms of generation we can invest in," said Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. "And we were able to significantly increase our renewable portfolio without jeopardizing our affordability goals."
Located near Harlingen, the Los Vientos project is Austin Energy's largest wind contract to date. To create its large amount of power, the wind farm has 84 turbines rated at 2.4 megawatts each. Whitetail, located 30 miles southeast of Laredo, Texas, has 57 turbines that produce up to 1.62 megawatts each.
While Austin Energy's renewable portfolio mainly consists of wind power, the utility also purchases renewable energy from a solar facility in Webberville and a biomass plant in Nacogdoches in East Texas.
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff who won hearts and headlines with his humility and common touch, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.
Most of the crowd that poured into Austin City Hall on Tuesday night was disappointed with the Parks and Recreation Department's decision to approve a smaller off leash area at Auditorium Shores.
Mack Brown's attorney and the university's new athletics director say the Texas coach has not resigned, denying a report that Brown was ready to step down after 16 seasons with the Longhorns.
An Austin man has been convicted in a human smuggling case in which a teen says she was forced to wear revealing clothes and sexually assaulted while bound for New Jersey.
The top prosecutor in Travis County found herself on the witness stand Tuesday to answer questions about her professional and personal history along with her history of alcohol.
A proposal to build a highway in south Austin is getting mixed reviews from neighbors.