A Texas City Uses 100% Renewable Energy – It’s Not Austin, and It’s Not Necessarily to Save the Planet
One of the very first and very few cities in the United States to use 100% renewable energy is Georgetown, Texas.
In 2015, Georgetown reached an agreement with SunEdison to become "one of the largest municipally owned utilities in the United States to supply its customers with 100 percent solar and wind energy" according to KXAN. It has succeeded.
But the reason why Georgetown went 100% green may be surprising. It is no surprise that Georgetown is very "red" and very conservative. In a recent NPR interview, Mayor Dale Ross said, "Austin's phrase is, you know, keep Austin weird. Now, what we say is, Austin, keep your weird." Clearly, there's no tree-hugging happening from city officials here.
The real reason Georgetown went green? For the green- money that is. Renewable energy is just that- renewable, inexhaustible and has recently become fairly inexpensive. According to treehugger.com (no jokes, m'kay?):
When it came time to sign new energy contracts for the rest of the city's needs, the city compared prices between natural gas, which has seen lower prices in recent years, and solar power. With natural gas, the city was only offered short-term contracts and with the volatility of the market, that seemed risky, but with solar, the city was able to secure a 25-year contract at a rate lower than it's paying now.
It was simply a smarter, safer fiscal bet than the alternative. The clear air and water will be a happy bonus. And interestingly, the energy is not coming from central Texas, but actually much closer to home- it's from a wind farm near Amarillo.
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