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NTMWD secures low-cost renewable energy from new solar plant in South Texas

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Agreement projected to save $14-million in energy costs over next 15 years

In advance of Energy Efficiency Day on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) is announcing it has signed an agreement with Direct Energy to purchase power produced at a new solar energy plant being built in the Laredo area. Power produced at the solar farm, scheduled to go online in July 2021, will become part of the Texas energy grid (ERCOT), and the agreement with Direct Energy will give NTMWD access to a portion of that available power.

Direct Energy negotiated the supply agreement with the developer of the solar farm and will manage all of the risk associated with the project. It is estimated NTMWD will save $14-million over the next 15 years as a result of the agreement versus traditional wholesale power purchases.

“This is a simplified and cost-effective approach to using renewable energy,” said Scott Puckett, energy manager for NTMWD. “The agreement allows the District a firm supply of renewable power from a new power source in Texas, without the costs and challenges associated with building and operating a solar facility in North Texas.”

Peak generating time of the new solar farm in South Texas will coincide with peak power use times. More power is available in the summer than in the winter, and more power is available during the afternoons than the early morning and late evening.

“People may not realize that power is actually one of the largest costs for water system operators,” Puckett added. “NTMWD is constantly seeking ways to secure low-cost, reliable energy to support our operations, and this is a great opportunity to reduce costs for the communities we serve while using clean energy.”

To learn more ways NTMWD is managing costs, visit www.NTMWD.com/managing-costs/.


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