Austin Energy could sign 2 large-scale wind deals

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Energy hopes to finalize two wind contracts in another step toward a goal of getting 35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the Austin City Council on Thursday could authorize final negotiations for the 25-year contracts. The deals with the city-owned utility are projected to be worth a combined $1.4 billion.

Austin Energy would add 570 megawatts of generating capacity from wind farms along the Texas Gulf Coast. The utility received about 100 bids from more than 30 companies.

Austin Energy currently gets 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Bernie Bernfeld, chairman of the city’s Electric Utility Commission, says the wind contracts appear to be a good deal because building a natural gas plant is expensive.