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SA: the lone city in the Lone Star State to make solar top 10 list
By Pam Maris on April 5, 2018
The sun beaming down on the solar panels atop San Antonio’s Fire Station 1 provided the perfect backdrop for yesterday’s solar announcement. CPS Energy was joined there by local officials and Environment Texas to celebrate San Antonio’s achievement in moving up to 6th from 8th in solar energy capacity in the United States.
San Antonio was the highest ranked city in Texas, far ahead of Austin, which was listed 17th among the nation’s top 20 for solar capacity. No other Texas cities made the top 20 list.
Each year, Environment Texas ranks nearly 70 of the nation’s major cities by megawatts (MW) of solar energy. Their report, Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, shows that solar capacity in San Antonio jumped from 117 MW in 2016 to 161 MW in 2017, a 37% increase. Given that 1 MW can power between 200 – 300 homes in the winter and 200 homes in the summer, CPS Energy now has enough solar to power more than 32,000 homes during Texas’ hot summer days!
“CPS Energy continues to be a national leader in solar power as recognized by the Shining Cities report,” said Dr. Cris Eugster, CPS Energy’s Chief Operating Officer. “It shows our commitment to renewables and the environment, as one of the largest power companies in Texas.”
The report also named San Antonio a “Solar Star” for being one of just 18 cities with more than 50 watts per person. San Antonio currently has more than 107 watts of solar installed per person.
More than 1,400 solar systems are installed throughout the Alamo City, including solar on homes, businesses, municipal buildings, community solar projects and utility-scale solar farms. Fire Station 1 is a participant of CPS Energy’s Solar Host program that gives a bill credit to customers based on how much power the panels on their roofs generate. It is one of four City of San Antonio facilities to participate in the program, through which solar panels are installed and maintained at no cost to the customer.
Beyond powering homes and businesses, solar helps reduce our city’s carbon footprint, which is especially important as San Antonio works to come up with a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Solar power also reduces air pollution, helps strengthen our electric grid, boosts economic development and adds job. According to a recent census by the Solar Foundation, 836 people work in the solar industry in Bexar County.
“San Antonio is leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. “By tapping into more of our vast solar energy potential, we can benefit from cleaner air and fight climate change.”
While CPS Energy has gained momentum on the solar front, the utility also continues to be among the top public power wind energy buyers in the nation – further demonstrating its commitment to incorporating clean, renewable energy sources into its generation portfolio.
Click here to read the News Release related to the April 4 solar announcement.