Sierra Club, Austin Energy Reach Agreement on Proposal to Ramp Up Renewable Energy, Phase Out Dirty Gas and Coal by 2023

Before today's Council Committee on Austin Energy, Council Member Mike Martinez confers with Sierra Club's Cyrus Reed and Dave Cortez on final language in the proposed Generation Plan. Council Member Martinez brought together Austin Energy and Sierra Club in an effort to find common ground for a Generation Plan. Cyrus Reed and Austin Energy's Khalil Shalabi led the effort working out a detailed plan than includes significant increases in utility and local solar, wind energy, retirement of the aging Decker gas plant, retirement of Austin Energy's portion of the Fayette Coal Plant and increases in energy efficiency, demand response and energy storage. The plan follows a year of dedicated work by City Council, Austin Energy, the Council's Generation Plan Task Force and stakeholders across the city representing environmental, religious, business and low income groups.

Austin Energy officials Khalil Shalabi, Cheryl Mele and Larry Weis presented an updated proposal for the 2025 Austin Resource Generation Plan at the Council Committee on Austin Energy at City Hall today.

The plan discussed before City Council today will, if approved, make historic commitments to solar power and other forms of renewable energy, increase Austin’s commitments to energy efficiency and demand response, begin investments in energy storage, and phase out the city’s oldest and most polluting fossil fuel plants — the Decker natural gas plant and Fayette coal plant.

Over the last three months, Sierra Club entered into a dialogue with Austin Energy, Council Member Mike Martinez, and other stakeholders to develop a 2025 Generation Plan that would be affordable, ambitious on renewables and cutting carbon dioxide emissions, and have buy-in from the utility, business community, and environmentalists.