Greater San Antonio's natural gas and electric provider CPS Energy has broken ground on its first solar energy and battery storage project.

CPS Energy - CPS Energy President And CEO Paula Gold-Williams Announces Plans

Image: CPS Energy President and CEO, Paula Gold-Williams, announces plans for the utility's first solar plus battery storage project in San Antonio, Texas. Photo: Courtesy of CPS Energy.

The project is a culmination of three years of work which included a partnership with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). For their part, SwRI is providing nearly 50 acres of land on which the solar facility and battery storage system will be constructed.

SwRI aims to gain valuable insight into the efficiencies of both solar production and battery energy storage. Sharing that information with CPS Energy will provide the utility with vital information that someday may lead to similar projects on a larger scale as they continue to execute their Flexible Path.

The $16.3m project, which will be constructed by RES Americas, was approved earlier this year by CPS Energy’s Board of Trustees. The site will consist of a 5MW solar power facility and a 10MW battery storage system located at 9800 W. Commerce in San Antonio.

“Today we took a very important step in advancing our technology in regards to battery storage. “Working with Southwest Research Institute, we will expand our knowledge of solar energy and battery storage and further expand our energy expertise.

For us, the most important thing is to meet this community’s energy demand today and tomorrow. This project aligns with our Flexible Path strategy and allows us to reduce our carbon footprint while at the same time incorporating battery storage into our system.”

“CPS Energy has proven that serving this community with reliable and affordable service is top-of-mind,” said City of San Antonio Councilman Greg Brockhouse. “That focus is evident in the way they conduct themselves and the emphasis they place on their People First philosophy. This project is a testament to their open-mindedness and vision for a better San Antonio.”

As a leader in developing alternative energy and battery technologies, SwRI will help showcase the site as an example of energy innovation.

SwRI Powertrain Engineering Division Vice President Daniel Stewart said; “As beneficial as the site will be zto the city’s energy future, SwRI will also benefit by leveraging the facility to become even more active in the grid-scale energy storage industry, and to work with battery suppliers and component manufacturers.”

In 2016, CPS Energy applied for and was awarded a New Technology Implementation Grant (NTIG) for $3m from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to fund part of the project cost.

The primary objective of the NTIG program is to offset the cost of the implementation of existing technologies that reduce the emission of pollutants from facilities and other stationary sources which may include electricity storage projects in Texas.

Source: Company Press Release