Al Gore’s ‘Green energy City’, Georgetown TX, have found themselves over the barrel after adopting Gore’s project by going 100% green. What might surprise you is it isn’t just the catastrophic cost to set up enough solar panels, batteries, and wind turbines to power an entire city that’s crippling them but the oversaturation and drop in the overall price of energy.
Georgetown began powering its city on green energy in April 2017 and budgeted $45 million to fund it, according to the Conservative Tribune. Unfortunately for Georgetown, their renewable energy bill ended up being $53.6 million, according to City Manager David Morgan.
The city was able to reduce the $8.6 million extra to $6.8 million through savings but was forced to pay the rest through reserves in the city’s energy fund.
Georgetown Utility Systems contracted to buy wind and solar at fixed prices until 2035 and 2043, respectively. Georgetown is obligated to buy about twice as much power as it actually needs from green power plants. The city is the first in Texas and the second-largest in the U.S. to go 100 percent renewable.
The idea was that Georgetown would have enough green power to grow into at fixed prices, avoiding market volatility and what it saw as the rising costs of fossil fuels. In the meantime, Georgetown would sell any excess power back to Texas’ electricity market.
But energy prices plummeted in recent years, particularly natural gas prices, meaning the city lost money selling power back to the market. Georgetown Budget Manager Paul Diaz told city councilors in late November the utility had lost $6.84 million. City officials are looking for ways to make up the shortfall.
“It’s costing them big time,” vice president of research at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Bill Peacock, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “This doesn’t appear to be the first time they’ve lost money, just the first time it was big enough to have to go public with it.”
As a result of the extra costs, Georgetown is now seeking to renegotiate their wind and solar contracts but how likely is it that energy companies will renegotiate? Especially considering how much money they’re making on the bum deal.