Austin Energy announced that the Austin Independent School District has committed to the largest purchase of green power to date through the utility's GreenChoice program. Under the agreement, the school district will purchase 45 million kWh of green power annually, or enough to meet 30% of its annual electricity needs. According to the school district Superintendent, the purchase is a "wise investment for Austin schools" because the price of the green energy is fixed through 2011. During 2000 and 2001, the district was forced to double its utility budget as a result of increases in the price of natural gas.
Austin Energy contracts for 86 MW of wind energy and 10 MW of landfill gas to supply the GreenChoice program. In September, the Austin City Council approved plans to add another 93 MW of wind energy to the program's resource mix. The new wind projects, which are scheduled for construction by 2005, will also enable the utility to meet the city council's goal of deriving 5% of its generation from renewable energy sources.
News Release - Austin School District to make largest purchase of renewable energy; subscription also largest in nation by a school district