Roofless Solar Brings Affordable Green Power to San Antonio
Residents of the Greater San Antonio Area who buy electricity from CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility, now have a greener way to buy power. It’s called community solar.
With this “roofless” solar model, a centrally located facility is built within the community it serves, allowing multiple residents and business owners to buy panels in the same array. The solar power produced is fed back to CPS Energy’s grid, and the utility applies credits on customers’ electric bills for their renewable generation.
STATE-OF-THE-ART COMMUNITY SOLAR
Developed by Clean Energy Collective (CEC), the 1.2 megawatt (MW) CPS Energy Roofless Solar Array is being constructed just east of the city in Adkins, TX. Any customer with a CPS electric bill is eligible to participate in the program.
This state-of-the-art system features 11,280 solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) panels on a 10-acre site. Utilizing a single-axis tracker, the panels are able to follow the sun’s movement throughout the day, increasing production by about 15 to 20 percent over a fixed-tilt system. The roofless solar array is expected to be completed this summer.
“CPS Energy’s long-term strategy of providing additional options to the citizens of San Antonio for a broader adoption of solar power in the area is exciting for all of us,” said Anita Ledbetter, executive director of Build San Antonio Green.
FINANCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAVINGS
One of the most attractively priced community solar projects, the CPS Energy Roofless Solar Array brings affordable clean energy to the San Antonio area. In December of 2015, the utility extended its rooftop solar rebate program, allowing community solar participants to also take advantage of the rebates—resulting in a greater financial payback. Residential customers can buy into the CPS Energy Roofless Solar Array for $1.09 per watt, which equals $202 per panel or $1,883 per kilowatt (kW). Customers can purchase a single 108-watt PV panel, or enough solar capacity to offset up to 120 percent of their electric usage. For every kilowatt purchased, customers will save about $5,000 over 25 years.
Aside from saving green, customers will also contribute to a greener planet. Throughout its lifetime, the CPS Energy Roofless Solar Array will produce enough clean energy to offset about 90 million pounds of CO2 emissions—equal to the carbon absorbing power of more than 138,000 trees.
CPS ENERGY’S COMMITMENT TO RENEWABLES
Dedicated to renewable energy, CPS Energy has power-purchase agreements (PPAs) with various community solar developers, totaling 134 MW of solar capacity—the most in the Lone Star State. By 2017, the utility expects to reach 500 MW.
“In addition to renewables, energy efficiency and demand response, we continue to focus on low-carbon fuels like natural gas,” CPS Energy states in its 2015 annual report. These commitments to sustainability help the municipal reach its goal of 65 percent low- or non-carbon emitting resources by 2020.
JOIN US JULY 13 FOR A FREE RECEPTION AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!
CPS Energy and Clean Energy Collective are hosting a solar reception open to all those interested in learning more about community solar. Please join us
Wednesday, July 13
6 – 8 PM
5800 Broadway St #300, San Antonio, TX 78209
Food, drink and a brief presentation will be included.
To learn more about the CPS Roofless Solar Array and find out how much you could be saving, visit www.cpsenergyrooflesssolar.com or call (210) 853-2276.
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4 thoughts on “Roofless Solar Brings Affordable Green Power to San Antonio”
I’ve signed up for just one panel. I’d buy more but I’m worried — what if the Clean Energy Collective goes out of business or otherwise can’t or won’t keep its commitment to do all the maintenance at the Adkins project. The purchase price includes 25 years of maintaining the panels, dealing with the manufacturers on warranties, keeping the project OK with regulatory, environmental, legal, and whatever requirements. If Clean Energy Collective drops the ball would CPS energy pick it up? If that happened, I’d expect the payback on panels I bought would be less, slower, or both; I could live with that.
What a great question. Turns out CEC has anticipated such a concern. With every facility established, a third-party administered escrow account that covers operations and maintenance for the life of the array is established. So no matter what happens to CEC the array and his panels will be covered. Let us know if you have further questions. Why not join us Wednesday at Paloma Blanca and you can talk to the CEC folks yourself? Hope to see you there. Best wishes.–CPS Energy team
Who will hold the escrow account for the Adkins project? Are they insured or bonded, or do they have a rating by one of the bond rating agencies, like Standard & Poor or Moody’s? If so, buying panels seems to me an excellent investment.
I’d love to come to that meeting Wednesday but I’m going out of town on a trip planned long ago!
We’ve signed up for 48 panels, which is estimated, based on our annual usage, to provide all the electric power our house will need. After the CPS rebate and the federal tax credit, it will cost us just under $10K, which should be returned in lower electric bills in nine years. We think this program is terrific, and if we’re wrong, at least it won’t be too expensive and it will be doing our little bit to reduce carbon emissions for the next 25 years.