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Council considering three consultants for energy gap study

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

At a special called meeting Tuesday, City Council had a discussion about the three energy consultants that Austin Energy staff has selected as qualified candidates for an independent study on how the city should move forward with acquiring new energy sources. The top three candidates, according to the utility, are Pace Global with 86.05 points, Navigant Consulting with 84.88 points and LCG Consulting with 80.8 points. Austin Energy is recommending Pace Global, though Mayor Steve Adler noted that Navigant Consulting “received some support.” In addition, Council members called attention to the fact that LCG Consulting received two out of 10 points in the “local business presence” category, while the top two candidates received full points. Khalil Shalabi, the utility’s vice president of energy market operations and resource planning, said that all of the candidates are qualified to do the work the city has requested as part of the Austin Energy Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan to 2025. “We’re indifferent as to who you pick,” he said. Whichever company Council chooses will be in charge of analyzing the potential outcomes of constructing the 500 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant that Austin Energy staff has recommended over pursuing renewable alternatives. Council will meet Thursday morning as the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee and will likely select a consultant at a regular meeting later that day.

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