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Winds of change are blowing. Deep in the heart of Texas, a city-owned utility is going all-in on clean energy.

The effort began eight years ago, when Georgetown, Texas, committed to get 30 percent of its electricity from renewables by the year 2030. The city council and utility board turned to wind and found it so cost-competitive, they quickly smashed the goal.

Today, the city provides its citizens with 100 percent clean energy and recently signed a big solar contract.

The move away from fossil fuels will help protect the climate. It may also save water because fossil fuel extraction is water-intensive – a big draw-back in a drought-prone state.

But the motivation was largely financial. By signing long-term wind and solar contracts, the city locked in low rates for the next 25 years. This protects against future spikes in natural gas prices, and Mayor Dale Ross says this allows the city to offer cheap electricity.

Ross: “We have tremendous savings to begin with, and it’s just getting better every day.”

Given the environmental and economic benefits, Ross says this was the right path for the city of Georgetown.

Ross: “If you’re looking at a very long-term strategy, I’m betting on wind and solar in Texas.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

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Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...