From Bexar County to Bay City, Citizens Advisory Committee gets deeper dive into energy business
Standing on metal grating 11 stories high, CPS Energy’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) members recently got a bird’s-eye view of the power generation operations at the utility’s Calaveras Power Station. The members were amazed by the size and complexity of the equipment at the site and by the view as they looked across the horizon from the Spruce 2 unit – a smooth-as-glass Calaveras Lake, which helps cool plant equipment, and Downtown San Antonio in the faraway distance.
The amazing scenery was an added bonus as CAC members Mary Dennis, Diana Aguirre Martinez, Andy Castillo and Al Rodriguez (now a former member) toured the company’s generation facilities to learn more about them and the new technologies we’re investing in. CPS Energy’s senior leaders gave the group an overview of the power generation process, sharing with them that the 780-megawatt (MW) Spruce 2 unit is capable of powering about 155,000 homes in the peak of a Texas summer.
After departing the Power Station in Southeast Bexar County, the CAC members toured the 50-acre solar + battery storage project site on San Antonio’s West Side. Partnering with Southwest Research Institute, our utility is constructing a 5-MW solar farm and 10 MWs of battery storage at the location. New technologies such as battery storage will be key to helping us power homes, even on days when the sun’s not shining – like the many rainy, cloudy days we’ve experienced in recent weeks.
CAC members learned how solar and battery storage will be vital to the future of generation, as they viewed the interior of the battery units as well as the rows and rows of solar panels that seemed to be never-ending.
Visits like this one provide the CAC a deeper understanding of our operations, helping them be better informed as they respond to questions posed by their neighbors and colleagues.
Earlier this year, CAC Chair Robert Romeo and Chair-elect David Walter, along with members Michelle Lugalia-Hollon, Mary Dennis, Diana Aguirre Martinez and Al Rodriguez (now a former member), marched up the steps of our State’s Capitol for a personal view of the building’s numerous rooms and chambers including where the 86th regular legislative session took place. They also had the opportunity to meet with State Representatives Ray Lopez and Trey Martinez Fischer.
In addition to these site visits, CAC members have gone on informative tours to CPS Energy’s Northside Customer Service Center on San Pedro Avenue and visited the EPIcenter that serves as a think-tank for innovative energy-related ideas. They’ve even traveled nearly 200 miles to Bay City to see firsthand and learn how the South Texas Project Nuclear Generating Station is integral in helping meet our growing community’s energy needs. Our 15-member CAC provides a channel for communications between the community and our Company. The committee meets monthly with the primary goal of providing judicious advice from a customer perspective on utility-related projects and programs.
Visit our website to learn more about the CAC and each of its members.