CPS Energy announced Thursday it has reached agreements with three companies to buy an additional 650 megawatts of power over the next two decades.
Of the total, 500 MW will come from natural gas, 100 MW from solar and 50 in the form of a battery storage project. In its announcement, the utility said these power purchase agreements would be the last under its so-called FlexPower Bundle initiative, a request for proposals launched in 2020 that sought to diversify CPS Energy’s generation mix.
The goal was to procure up to 900 MW of solar, 50 MW of energy storage and 500 MW of natural gas, which the utility refers to as “firming capacity” because it is “dispatchable, controllable, and reliable energy that can be utilized when the sun is not shining, or the wind is not blowing.”
Melissa Sorola, CPS Energy’s vice president of corporate communications and marketing, told the San Antonio Report this is not the end of the utility’s commitment to adding more renewable energy — just of the FlexPower Bundle name.
“We’re still going to put out a request for 320 MW of [utility scale] solar and community solar this year — it just won’t be under that FlexPower Bundle umbrella,” Sorola said. “Plus we always said the FlexPower Bundle would be up to 900 MW of solar.”
A lot has changed for CPS Energy since 2020, Sorola said, adding that the Inflation Reduction Act brings with it new opportunities for CPS Energy. She said the utility is working to see how it can capitalize on those opportunities.
Last month, CPS Energy’s trustees approved a new generation portfolio that will phase out coal by 2028.
“With the completion of the FlexPower Bundle and the approval of our generation resource plan we are charting a new path for CPS Energy to power our community in the future,” said Janie Martinez Gonzalez, who recently became chair of the utility’s board of trustees. “I look forward, in my new role as board chair, to continue to lead and adapt to create a more resilient and intelligent grid.”
Mayor Ron Nirenberg, an ex-officio trustee, said completion of the FlexPower Bundle represents “years of hard work and will provide reliable generation to our community. We look forward to our new partnerships and what they will mean for the City of San Antonio.”
Last year, CPS Energy secured agreements with Ashtrom Renewable Energy and Con Edison for a total of 480 MW of solar power.
Under the new agreements, Calpine will provide 500 MW of natural gas power from the Guadalupe Energy Center located just outside of New Braunfels. That power should be available to CPS Energy this spring.
CPS Energy will buy 100 MW of solar from Ashtrom Renewable Energy and its partner and developer, Austin-based OnPeak Power from the as-yet-built El Patrimonio solar project, which will be located in Bexar Countyand should be supplying power by May 2025.
As part of the agreement, Ashtrom Renewable Energy will contribute to CPS Energy student scholarships, as well as on-site field day mentorship to local students during construction. It will also pay for the construction of an outdoor classroom.
The 50 MW of storage will come through exclusive 20 year rights to a battery project to be located in Bexar County, courtesy Eolian L.P.
These last three agreements “marks the end of a more than two-year-long process that the CPS Energy team has been working diligently on,” said CPS Energy’s President and CEO Rudy Garza.
“The FlexPower Bundle was created to further diversify our generation mix, which we have accomplished,” Garza said. “We look forward to continuing to add solar capacity to our portfolio with a new 320-megawatt request for proposals to be launched in the coming months.”
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