Turlock Irrigation District General Manager Larry Weis has been chosen to lead Austin Energy, a large Austin, Texas utility, according to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.
Weis was one of two finalists for the Austin Energy General Manager post along with David Wright, general manager of Riverside Public Utilities. Both candidates travelled to Austin in June to interview.
The Statesman quotes an e-mail penned by Austin City Manager Marc Ott to the Austin City Council announcing Weis’ selection.
“I have concluded that Larry Weis ... is the best fit for Austin,” Ott wrote.
Weis has yet to be formally offered the position. Ott and a contingent of Austinites flew to Turlock this week, and are scheduled to meet with Weis tomorrow to discuss his possible employment.
Ott will look to “verify the ‘fit’” of Weis with Austin Energy, according to his e-mail.
Weis declined to comment on the Austin Energy post Tuesday morning. He has been with TID for the past 10 years.
TID directors look to issue bonds for power plant
The TID Board of Directors authorized issuing up to $200 million in bonds Tuesday morning to help pay for a proposed expansion to the district’s Almond Power Plant near Ceres.
“It’s a good time to borrow,“ said Bill Doyle, a partner in the San Francisco and Seattle offices of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who specializes in public finance and is overseeing TID’s bond issuance.
The district will initially finance the project through short-term one-year bonds, taking advantage of interest rates anticipated to fall below one percent. The debt will then be refinanced into longer-term bonds.
The bond issuance will also take advantage of new Build America Bonds, which offer a federal subsidy to the bond issuer.
Bonds will be issued between November and July 2011, depending on market conditions, Doyle said.
While up to $200 million in bonds were authorized, the district predicts a final total in the low $190 million range depending on project costs.
The 174-megawatt clean natural gas fired, simple-cycle peaking electricity generating Almond 2 Peaking Power Plant would provide additional protection against power outages for TID customers.
Almond 2 is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 57,000 tons per year by allowing other generators to operate at their most efficient levels. The development is also said to help supplement the inconsistent wind power TID generates through its Tuolumne Wind Project.
The project has yet to receive final approval from the California Energy Commission, the regulatory agency responsible for licensing power plants.
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