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Austin to get its first community solar project

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 by Nora Ankrum

Austin will soon have its first community solar project, thanks to a deal struck last week between Austin Energy and local solar company PowerFin Texas Solar Projects. As part of the agreement, PowerFin will build a 3.2-megawatt solar plant next to Austin Energy’s Kingsbery Substation in east Austin, near Springdale Road and Airport Boulevard. The power it generates will be available by subscription to Austin Energy customers. Community solar projects are particularly beneficial for renters or other customers who might not otherwise be able to install solar at their own homes. This project will be unique because it is among the first in the country to combine utility-scale solar, utility-scale energy storage technology and educational components, according to Austin Energy. “Not only is this an opportunity to provide solar to a wider number of Austinites, it’s also an opportunity to showcase the evolving smart grid and utility of the future, and provide educational opportunities to the community and local schools,” said Danielle Murray, Austin Energy’s solar energy services program manager. Austin Energy expects the project to be completed by summer 2016.

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