[NEWS] Financial Concerns Around Idle Texas Biomass Facility
– by Mark Lisheron, May 7, 2018, Texas Monitor
For almost six years, Austin Energy customers have been paying about $54 million a year for a power plant in East Texas not to produce biomass energy.
Those customers also paid $128 million to build the plant.
Nearly two years ago, the city of Austin hired a staff of attorneys to see if Austin Energy could get out from under a 20-year contract that even supporters of the wood-burning power plant came to see as a terrible deal for utility customers.
When asked late last week by The Texas Monitor what, if anything, those lawyers had done during that time, Jason Stanford, a spokesman for Mayor Steve Adler said, “The lawyers aren’t discussing this publicly. That’s all I know.”
The city is also not disclosing how much taxpayers have been paying in attorney’s fees. At the time Adler confirmed for a Texas Watchdog reporter that the lawyers had been hired, he said those fees could reach $100,000.
The Texas Monitor on Friday made a formal request through the Texas Public Information Act for all documents and a list of costs pertaining to the investigation into the contract between Austin Energy and Southern Power for the Nacogdoches Generating Facility near Sacul, in East Texas.