Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Local green power project opposed by groups claiming it's environmentally unfriendly

Stock Photo

Some residents of Bastrop county are fighting against a proposed solar project by Austin-based company Solar Proponent.

The solar developer submitted an application to Elgin ISD which asked for both tax breaks and a request to waive the employee requirement from ten permanent employees to one according to the company’s Ch. 313 application.

While the project bisects both Elgin and Bastrop ISD, Solar Proponent said in a May school board meeting that applying for a Ch. 313 in Bastrop wasn’t financially worth it.

The project, named Dogwood Creek Solar, is estimated to produce 216 megawatts of energy and serve as a battery storage project according to the application.

Many residents of northwest Bastrop county, though, aren’t keen on the solar proposal which runs directly across highway 290.

According to Friends of the Land, the group opposing the project, the tax breaks would save Solar Proponent up to $350 million over 10 years and eliminate valuable tax dollars which could fund students and schools.

The group also claims that the development would cut down a heavily wooded area, roughly two-thirds of the land surrounding Little Sandy Creek.

“I was just dumbfounded,” group member Kay Rogers told KXAN. “We just think there couldn’t be a worse place in the county for somebody to propose putting a solar factory.”

Friends of the Land is also against the proposed employment reduction of a project this size. While initial construction will create 250 temporary jobs, the company is proposing just one full-time employee upon completion instead of the usual 10-job minimum for a project this size.

Rogers said the group is not against solar energy but believes companies like Solar Proponent should avoid projects with this level of ecological destruction and lack of job creation.

The group hopes the Elgin ISD school board denies the application in which case the company said it would likely move the project to a different state.

The school board met Monday to decide on whether the proposal should move forward into negotiation, but decided they needed more time and will meet again next month.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.