July 29, 2020 Read More →

San Antonio’s city-owned utility looking for 900MW of solar, 50MW of battery storage

San Antonio Express-News:

CPS Energy is embarking on two major green energy initiatives — one to increase the amount of energy generated by solar power and other sources and the second to allow large companies to buy power from clean energy sources.

On Monday, the city-owned utility’s board of trustees set an Aug. 31 deadline for companies’ first step toward submitting plans to bolster CPS Energy’s solar power and battery storage capabilities.

Overall, the initiative is expected to add up to 900 megawatts of solar power, potentially doubling the utility’s solar power generating capacity. Battery storage — to store solar power for use when the sun is not shining — would add another 50 megawatts of power. A third component adds 500 megawatts of energy from new energy technology and would be used when solar or wind power wasn’t available. CPS Energy currently has more than 5,000 megawatts of generating capacity.

The utility’s “request for information,” asks energy companies to submit formal bids on how much they would charge the utility to provide the alternative power. CPS Energy expects to solicit formal bids by early 2021.

Chief Operating Officer Cris Eugster said more alternative power will help the utility meet the goals of San Antonio’s climate action and adaption plan, which calls for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases to “net zero” by 2050. He said there was another key reason for adding generation capacity — to keep the lights on in San Antonio. “The real need is to replace aging power plants,” he said.

The second initiative that trustees approved, known as a “green tariff,” would allow large commercial power users, such as an H-E-B or a USAA, to purchase all their power from an alternative power provider, such as energy companies that provide solar or wind power.

CPS Energy would act as the middleman in securing long-term contracts on behalf of commercial customers.

[Randy Diamond]

More: CPS Energy moves forward with sweeping clean energy plan

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