Renewable Power Generated as a Percent of Consumption
This measures renewable power, such as wind, solar and biomass, generated as a percent of Austin Energy (AE) electric load consumption. AE has a goal of achieving 55% renewable power generated as a percent of consumption by 2025 as outlined in the 2014 update to the AE Climate Protection Plan.
This measure is calculated by dividing the total megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy purchased or generated by AE by the total number of megawatt hours of energy consumed by AE customers. One megawatt is a unit of power equal to one million watts.
FY 2015-16 Results
For FY 2015-16, the goal for this measure was established at 30.5% renewable energy. The FY 2015-16 actual was 29.8% due to the timing of renewable project additions and market conditions dispatching renewable energy production.
Assessment of Results
AE made significant progress in FY 2015-16 toward reaching the updated goal of 55% renewable power generated as a percent of consumption by 2025. The current amount of total power consumed per year by Austin Energy customers equals 12-13 terawatts or 12-13 million megawatts. For comparison, a typical household consumes 750 kilowatt hours per month, or 0.75 megawatts. This measure is dependent upon AE-owned renewable power dispatched in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid, and output varies annually depending on weather and market factors such as price. Progress was made through the addition of new purchases of wind and solar energy from projects including Berkshire Hathaway Renewables and the Los Vientos III Wind Project built in west Texas. Although the interim targets may be affected by the timing of additions due to the complexity of the projects and the amount of customer consumption which AE does not control, AE is confident that it will meet the overall goal of 55% renewables generated by 2025.
AE currently has 200 megawatts of wind Purchase Power Agreements (PPA’s) that came on line in FY 2015-16 and was given approval by Council to contract for another 450 megawatts. The previously approved 150 megawatt solar contract came online during the fourth calendar quarter of FY 2015-16 and, due to the timing, is slated to cause an impact to FY 2016-17. The PPA’s for wind, solar and biomass (AE uses waste wood) currently on-line and coming on-line in the ensuing years will help AE to surpass the original goal of 35% renewable power generated by the year 2020 and position AE to move forward in achieving greater than 55% renewables in the future. The City Council is due to approve a new update to the AE Climate Protection Plan by mid- FY 2016-17 which may include additional commitments by AE with regards to this goal.
For more information contact Khalil Shalabi Vice President, Energy Market Operations & Resource Planning at (512) 322-6520 or http://austinenergy.com/wps/portal/ae/about/environment/austin-climate-protection-plan.