The Austin City Council will shortly vote for a $250 million contract of Austin Energy to build a solar plant. The plant would be built on about 350 acres of city land near Webberville town. As per the contract, Austin Energy will purchase up to 30 megawatts of solar power generated at the plant for 25 years. The city postponed the vote in February 2009 after some of Austin's companies showed concern over electrical bill increase.
City council will also take decision on an $8.4 million contract to install 750 solar power pay stations across the city. Aged meter system is costing Austin $500,000 in revenue. On approval, each solar kiosk would replace eight to 11 meters. Drivers would walk to a pay station, swipe their debit or credit card or pay with cash.
This is a cash positive idea for the city of Austin, said Councilmember Lee Leffingwell. The purpose of it is to give us more flexibility actually make money over the years.
But Austin resident Ali Tajiran said, “They need to fix the ones that they have and keep the cost to a minimum.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around how they are going to make a concrete highway look beautiful, said Jean Warneke, a property owner in the area.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department says it’s the fulfillment of a dream.
It’s been part of the dream that’s been out there since the lake was formed. Lady Bird led the charge to do that and this would be the culmination of that dream, said Stuart Strong, the assistant director of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.