Denton City Council Approves Energy Plan To Be All Renewable By 2020

Denton City Council approved a plan Tuesday to update the city’s energy plan to become 100 percent renewable by 2020, the Denton Record-Chronicle reports. 

If the plan is successful, Denton would become the second Texas city to purchase all of its energy from wind and solar farms or other renewable energy sources.

The city is working with Enterprise Risk Consulting, based in Austin and Santa Fe, to develop the plan. The firm helped Georgetown abandon fossil fuels and become one of the first U.S. cities to be 100 percent renewable. 

Denton Municipal Electric currently buys about 44 percent of the city’s electricity from renewable resources — mostly wind farms, the Record-Chronicle reports. 

“To reach the goal by 2020, Enterprise Risk Consulting advised DME to solicit more contracts for about 200 megawatts of solar power and 100 megawatts of wind power, preferably from a wind farm on the Gulf Coast,” according to the Record-Chronicle.

The plan also assumes Denton will stop using coal-fired power by September. Denton and three other cities own Gibbons Creek power plant near Bryan, which operated through last summer. They haven’t been able to sell the plant yet.

Cyrus Reed, conservation director of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter, issued the following statement:

“The Sierra Club applauds Denton City Council for its leadership and pragmatism. They could have easily let their current plan ride, but they decided to take a closer look at their options and make smarter decisions that will save people money on their bills. We encourage city leaders and Denton Municipal Electric to take the next step to transition away from relying on the Gibbons Creek coal plant, as well as ensuring their next renewable energy investments include community solar projects and energy storage.

The Denton Public Utilities Board reviewed and approved the energy plan last month.