As San Antonians, we are lucky to live in the seventh largest city in the United States, which is thriving. We are celebrating our 300th anniversary together with great pride in our beautiful community.
While we also want good times, we realize that challenges cannot always be avoided. Our newest challenge is a big one. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has let it be known that our beloved city and the greater Bexar County has been deemed a “marginal nonattainment” area.
This label has come to no surprise to city and county leaders. This is a struggle that major cities often must face. This is especially true for San Antonio, with our city topping the national list for the largest raw numeric growth in population among all large cities.
Thousands-upon-thousands of families are coming to San Antonio to find homes, and those homes will need CPS Energy to provide power, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 every day of the year. It is what we do and we’re happy to bring that power to 805,000 electric and 344,000 gas customers.
While addressing the new and unfavorable EPA designation is included among our top portfolio of priorities, we believe it is important to take note of actions that we have taken to lessen the gap we face today. For example, as early advocates for renewable energy, it’s no surprise that CPS Energy is #1 in solar power production in Texas and a top producer for wind power production in Texas. From our 75% NOx emissions reduction (since 1997) to the closure of the J.T. Deely Coal Units 1 & 2 this year, CPS Energy continues our commitment to sustainability and being an engaged environmental steward. Just this past March, we introduced the city to Gaston, the “Smart Sniffer” gas leak detecting vehicle. This vehicle sporting newly-acquired technology will minimize the amount of methane released in our environment thanks to its early detection abilities.
Even with those valiant efforts, it isn’t enough. There is always more that we can do to help our customers and community. We clearly have a big impact on the air we breathe and CPS Energy is working to develop a flexible future for the betterment of everyone. Technology is evolving and changing now, this “flexibility” is needed for us to meet your energy needs in a responsible way. Flexibility means we will work with equipment that uses less energy, in addition to creating more potential for renewables and new technologies that will revolutionize how we generate electricity.
Together, we are taking a collaborative and rigorous approach to reduce GHG emissions, in addition to evaluating climate-related impacts as we work to adapt and build resilience. We are truly in this together.
We are headed in the right direction and we are being thoughtful about our city’s future. Along with our community and dedicated partnerships with the City of San Antonio and the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute, we launched the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). Together, we are taking a collaborative and rigorous approach to reduce GHG emissions, in addition to evaluating climate-related impacts as we work to adapt and build resilience. We are truly in this together.
We’ve been harvesting more of the power we supply to customers from solar energy for several years. Now, in partnership with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), we are researching how to store that energy in batteries, which will not only maintain the electrical grid’s reliability, but will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This project is just in the beginning stages, but it’s another step in our efforts to make our air cleaner.
Along with an appropriate focus on impacts from energy, working together, our community will also broadly assess other emission pillars such as significant projected increases in population growth and transportation and traffic. Accordingly, we are continuing our journey toward a cleaner and more energy efficient San Antonio. There is much more to come.