The council gave a unanimous thumbs up to a private company's proposal to build and operate a 300-acre solar array on land near Webberville, east of Austin, and sell the power to Austin. The array is scheduled to be operating by the end of 2010.The catch is that the power generated will be considerably more expensive than conventional electricity. Their solution is to sell it to those who are willing to pay extra for "clean" power:
The green charge for a solar package, if the cost estimates are accurate, would be about $160 a month for the average-value Austin home. The same homeowner would pay about $36 a month under the city's standard program.I think they will have a hard time finding enough people to volunteer for that.
The solar price isn't set, though. Duncan said new federal tax credits could reduce the cost by as much as a third.