Austin City Council Sets Deadline for Energy Studies
Important Vote Commits City to Evaluate Options to Move Beyond Coal
Late Thursday evening, Austin City Council voted to approve two resolutions that set deadlines for the completion of two studies required under the Austin Generation Resources 2020 Plan approved in February of 2011.
One resolution, offered by Councilmember Bill Spelman and Mayor Pro-Tem Sheryl Cole, requires the Austin City Manager and Austin Energy to perform a full analysis of the different options available to phase out our use of the 600MW Fayette Coal Plant, partly owned by the City of Austin, by September 2012.
The analysis must include:
– an examination of the water used by the coal plant;
– upcoming environmental regulations that the power plant will have to meet;
– alternative sources of power available to the City of Austin.
Austin Energy must give presentations of the study conclusions to both to the Electric Utility Commission by September 2012 and then to City Council.
A second resolution, sponsored by Chris Riley, Bill Spelman, and Mike Martinez requires that Austin Energy develop a strategy and plan by December of 2011 to determine how to meet the goal of saving 800 megawatts of energy through efficiency measures by 2020, including how they will conduct a much larger energy efficiency potential study.
In response, Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Lone Star Chapter of Sierra Clun issued the following statement:
“Sierra Club supports Austin Energy’s move to 35% renewable energy and 800 megawatts of energy efficiency by 2020. We also fundamentally believe the City of Austin can end our use of coal and phase out our use of the dirty Fayette Coal Plant. We appreciate that City Council has voted to move forward with two studies that will help answer how we will make this transition cost-effective and timely.”
“The two resolutions go hand in hand because one of the best ways we are phasing out our use of coal is by increasing our efficiency and renewable energy goals and programs. I hope the analyses will be completed well before the September 2012 deadline imposed by the City Council.”
# # #