Austin Considers Largest Solar Project in the World

Austin, Texas, is considering building a major solar power plant, according to the Dallas Morning News. Austin’s city electric utility wants to set aside 300 acres of land for a solar array that would be built and owned by San Francisco-based Gemini Solar Development Co. Austin Energy would be the exclusive client and would pay $10 million a year for 25 years for the power it generates.

If approved by the city council, it would be one of the largest solar projects of its kind in the world. The facility would open in late 2010 and would produce enough energy annually to power up to 5,000 homes, putting Austin Energy on pace to meet its goal of getting 30 percent of its power from renewable power sources by 2020.

The proposal has generated some concern among Austin’s large manufacturers, particularly high--technology companies, who worry their bills could see big increases.

“If the cost goes up for our utilities, our price goes up for our product,” said Roger Wood, a corporate facilities manager for Freescale Semiconductor.

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