San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 25th, 2010
City sets Monday meeting for electric contract

STAFF REPORT

City officials in San Marcos have set a public meeting for March 29 to discuss and receive input related to a proposed power supply contract extension with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).

The meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on March 29 at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 East Hopkins Street.

Residents have expressed concerns that the contract is not being made public. A proposed city council resolution supporting the contract said the agreement “is exempt from public disclosure and shall not be released or otherwise made public” because disclosure would provide advantage to competitors or prospective competitors of the San Marcos Electric Utility (SMEU).

The city council tabled the contract earlier this week after citizens raised concerns about transparency.

The proposed contract allows the city to purchase up to 35 percent of its power from other sources. The present contract with LCRA only enables the city to purchase 10 percent of its power from other sources.

City officials say the proposal emphasizes future renewable resources and environmental stewardship, includes incentives for peak demand reduction and conservation programs, and supports smart grid technology

The city’s present agreement with the LCRA expires on June 25, 2016. However, the city is required to make a deal by June 25, 2011, if it wishes to extend the contract.

Lead time for the extension is required in the contract to allow adequate resource planning time for future LCRA generation facilities. The extension of the current power supply contract would provide for LCRA to deliver electricity to San Marcos until 2041.

City and LCRA staff will be on hand to respond to questions and offer information on the proposed power supply contract.

LCRA has provided electric service to the City of San Marcos since 1939. The city purchased the electric distribution system from LCRA in 1986 and assumed full operational duties in 1991. The city claims to have among the lowest rates for retail electric service in the Texas.

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0 thoughts on “City sets Monday meeting for electric contract

  1. Please attend this Monday 7pm meeting if you can! This is an important meeting since the City is about to execute a contract through 2041 with LCRA.

    While our City leaders want to do the best possible job for our community, I also believe decisions like “where we get what kind of power for our community” deserve public participation.

    Although I can’t be there Monday evening (family commitment schedule conflict), I hope these kinds of questions are raised by citizens:

    What is the renewables commitment by SMEU? How do we coordinate this element with LCRA?

    LCRA said we could go 100% green within the terms of the proposed contract. How would that work?

    How do the energy efficiency incentives from LCRA to SMEU work?

    What is the commitment to Time of Day / Time of Use, DRM, net metering?

    How would net metering work for commercial and residential customers?

    How will SMEU balance energy efficiency initiatives with the financial contribution SMEU makes to the general operating COSM funds?

    Where do we stand in the citizen energy committee (or whatever it will be called) coming into being?

    What are the generation plans (energy source portfolio by type and capacity) for LCRA during the next 10-15 years?

    Are we able to exclude ourselves from receiving power from the Sandy Creek facility? If so, how would that work?

    How does Texas State University power consumption tie into all of this? Are they a customer of SMEU or of LCRA directly? If they obtain power from SMEU, how does that influence our plans and coordination?

    When, for example, an SMEU customer pays $100 for energy, how much goes to LCRA of that $100?

    Since we can’t see the contract, can we at least get more information than just the PowerPoint material?

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