How One Big Texas City Plans to Go 100% Renewable by 2017

This Big Texas City Will Soon Be Powered Entirely By Wind And Sun

Think Progress, June 11, 2015. Image credit: geralt

Located about 30 miles north of the Texas capital in a deeply conservative county, the city of Georgetown will be powered 100 percent by renewable energy within the next couple years. Georgetown’s residents and elected officials made the decision to invest in two large renewable energy projects, one solar and one wind, not because they reduced greenhouse gas emissions or sent a message about the viability of renewable energy — but because it just made sense, according to Mayor Dale Ross.

In a state better known for what it prospects for underground, Texas has one of the best aboveground renewable energy profiles in the country — especially west Texas, where the wind blows hard and consistently and the sun shines unabatedly. Texas also has its own electricity grid, which allowed state lawmakers to build the thing often lacking in the development of major renewable energy projects: transmission lines. As part of the state’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone program, or CREZ, Texas has spent around $7 billion building transmission lines to make far-removed wind and solar projects accessible to population centers in the central and eastern parts of the state.

By bringing nearly 150 megawatts of wind energy from north Texas and another 150 megawatts of solar from far west Texas, Georgetown is taking full advantage of what the Lone Star State has to offer. And in doing so, it is getting some of the cheapest, most reliable, and most sustainable energy in the country.

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