Energy in the News: Austin’s Biomass Plant Commissioned

Renewable energy advocates have a responsibility to the public to see that their money is well spent.   At the time the contract for a power purchase agreement was approved by City Council in 2008, most environmentalists that spoke were either critical of the plant, or said they did not have enough information to support it.

We gained credibility with the public because of this.

Unfortunately, our opinion did not prevail, and we will be paying for this millstone until 2032 barring some change in the contract.

At a small ceremony amid the tall pines of East Texas, a handful of Austin officials watched one of the most unpopular investments in Austin Energy’s history rumble to life Wednesday.

A power plant fueled by wood waste held its official opening after briefly coming online a few weeks ago. The privately owned plant will sell $2 billion worth of electricity to Austin Energy for the next 20 years at a price well above the going rate for competing power sources.

“As a green-power advocate, I think we would have been better off investing in other things,” environmental activist Paul Robbins said.