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Posted on: July 19, 2019

City to Expand Renewable Energy Portfolio in 2021

Solar Panel

The City of San Marcos has announced that its wholesale electric provider, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), has executed a solar power purchase agreement that will bring the total renewable energy powering the City to 10% in 2021.

In January, the City Council approved San Marcos Electric Utility’s (SMEU) pursuit of solar power contracts to utilize the improving financial opportunities in that industry.

SMEU began negotiating with solar energy vendors as part of a group of local distribution providers, with the belief that coordinated buying power would lead to a better overall contract. The group engaged LCRA as an additional partner, which culminated in the LCRA’s recent announcement of a solar purchase agreement with Intersect Power, LLC.

The purchase will provide approximately 6.7 megawatts to the City during afternoon peaks, and will translate to an additional annualized equivalent of approximately 2.5% of the City’s consumption. Hydroelectric power already powers 3.5% of the City usage, and beginning in 2021, the City will begin receiving power through a separate contract for West Texas wind farm energy for 3.6% of its energy needs, bringing the total renewable energy use to almost 10%.

“It has been a great experience working with our partners at LCRA, and the City is very excited about the ability to deliver additional renewable power to our customers,” said Public Services Assistant Director Tyler Hjorth. “We are actively pursuing additional low-risk, reliable, economically attractive contracts so our grid can represent the best interests of our citizens without raising rates.”

Currently, the City relies on coal, hydroelectric, and natural gas power to meet energy needs. The solar power purchase will not increase utility rates.

For more information, contact Tyler Hjorth at 512-393-8300 or read more about the LCRA contract at https://bit.ly/2K4yYor.

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