Renewable energy implementation for San Marcos by 2021

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Renewable energy implementation for San Marcos by 2021

A solar panel sits Aug. 26 along Sessom Drive. Photo credit: Jaden Edison

A solar panel sits Aug. 26 along Sessom Drive. Photo credit: Jaden Edison

A solar panel sits Aug. 26 along Sessom Drive. Photo credit: Jaden Edison

A solar panel sits Aug. 26 along Sessom Drive. Photo credit: Jaden Edison

Mia Estrada

The City of San Marcos consistently strides toward living environmentally friendly. By 2021, San Marcos will raise the amount of renewable energy that powers the city to 10% with help from its electric provider, Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).

The San Marcos City Council approved plans to use 10% combined wind and solar renewable energies and improve financial opportunities for the city’s electric utilities. Beginning July 1, 2021, solar power usage during the day and wind during the night will provide renewable energy for the city.

Under this contract, LCRA will purchase renewable energy from a solar plant in Borden County. This plant will add 141 megawatts of energy to its new portfolio in 2021, which includes San Marcos.

Tyler Hjorth, assistant director of public services at San Marcos Electricity Utility, looks forward to utilizing renewable powers to slowly introduce the city to more energy alternatives for the future.

With hydroelectric power already providing San Marcos with 3.5% renewable energy, the additional 3.6% will bring the grand total of renewable energy in the city to 10% across the board.

Not only are these renewable energies practicing conservation and creating progress toward an eco-friendly environment, but are saving the city money overall.

According to Hjorth, by purchasing renewable energies in small increments, the city implements economic-based decisions while investing wisely in a drastically changing technology.

“Places not too far from here invest heavily in renewables and there are communities out there that we’re close to becoming completely green and now are almost completely red due to debt and exceeding their budget,” Hjorth said.

The main goal of the energy plan is to execute small changes in the community in order to eventually adjust to bigger results. Hjorth said this is only the beginning of environmentally friendly changes, with the city slowly pursuing solid and economically priced plans.

In order for the renewable energy plan to create change in the environment, other areas across Texas like Austin, Culberson County and McKinney Roughs Nature Park have teamed up with LCRA to attempt to produce a lasting impact.

Even before the proposal has been activated, the project has inspired members of the community to take matters into their own hands in helping to conserve the environment.

H-E-B has joined the EPA GreenChill Partnership to reduce the carbon footprint by investing in sustainable refrigeration for its products.

Taylor Chevalier, exercise and sports science junior and environmental activist, said change starts with relatively insignificant action in the grand scheme of things, but over time, small changes add up to a huge difference.

“It’s amazing to see San Marcos stepping up and taking the initiative to move toward a more sustainable path,” Chevalier said. “Even better, the city is taking into account what its citizens can and cannot afford.”

For more information about the project progression and the small ways citizens can help conserve the environment, visit the Conserve the Current page on the San Marcos official website.

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