On Friday, Jan. 6, Austin Energy flips the "on" switch on the Webberville Solar Farm, located approximately 20 miles east of Austin. The solar farm is a component of the City of Austin's effort to derive 35 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.
Austin Energy will purchase all of the power—30 megawatts a year, or enough to power approximately 5,000 homes annually—produced by the 380-acre facility. As the solar farm's only client, Austin Energy will pay $10 million a year for 25 years.
According to the city, the solar farm is one of the largest in the United States and will "serve as a model for other utilities across the country."
Gemini Solar Development Co. is the farm's owner and operator.