There’s a rapidly-growing city in Texas that boasts one of the most renewable-friendly energy programs in the country — and it’s not Austin. In 2015 Mayor Dale Ross announced that the city of Georgetown, Texas would be powered 100% by renewable electricity. In this episode Lacey and Melissa talk with Chris Foster, the Manager of Resource Planning and Integration, and a trained economist, who is in charge of, among other things, the city’s municipally-owned utility power supply. He is best known for organizing and pioneering the successful transition of Georgetown’s power supply from a single source, 90% fossil fuel-based supplier to a 100% wind and solar plan with multiple providers.
Chris talks about how the city created a strategic plan for the future of its electricity supply that involved coordination with multiple city departments and input from the business community. The result was a focus on renewable energy sources that mitigates regulatory and economic risks while providing stable, long-term electricity costs to its residential and business customers. As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, there were several factors affecting the plan, including economic concerns, generation profiles of wind and solar power, negotiating with renewable power providers, serving the city’s demand curve, and other issues unique to electricity supply in the ERCOT region. Chris explores these issues and more in this episode.