CPS Energy will soon be able to provide San Antonio residents with 300 more megawatts of solar-powered electricity after reaching a new agreement with Con Edison, a New York-based company the utility has partnered with since 2016.
CPS Energy will purchase the power from a new solar farm that will be built next year in Goliad, Texas. CPS Energy already buys power from four existing solar farms owned and managed by Con Edison around Texas.
The new agreement will expand CPS Energy’s existing solar portfolio to 852 megawatts by 2024 or 2025, utility officials said in a press release Tuesday.
CPS Energy’s existing renewable generation portfolio includes 1,049 megawatts of wind, 552 megawatts of utility-scale solar and 10 megawatts of battery storage resources. Local residents and businesses host another 245 megawatts of rooftop solar.
An Environment Texas study published in April showed San Antonio ranks first in Texas and fifth in the nation for total solar photovoltaic capacity.
The new 300-megawatt project has been dubbed Peregrine Solar. Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses will be solely responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance costs of the project and the associated costs, while CPS Energy will acquire the solar energy produced at Peregrine through a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The deal is the first of the utility’s FlexPower Bundle initiative, which aims to add up to 900 megawatts of solar, 50 megawatts of energy storage and 500 megawatts of firming capacity — likely natural gas — to CPS Energy’s power generation mix over the next 20 years.
“It’s truly a sunny day for our community,” CPS Energy’s interim CEO Rudy Garza said during a Tuesday press conference announcing the deal. “This will be our largest single solar site to date. Through this 25-year solar partnership, CPS Energy will reach one-third of our goal.”
With San Antonio rapidly growing, its energy infrastructure needs to expand to meet the community’s needs, Garza said. San Antonio is one of the top-10 fastest-growing cities in the U.S., according to recent census data.
The utility began actively searching for clean energy partners in 2020, when it formally launched a request for proposals seeking contractors to help it utilize new energy generation and storage technologies.
The new agreement with Con Edison is “a significant step for the FlexPower Bundle initiative,” and for the city’s clean energy strategy, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. The financial impact for Bexar and Goliad counties is anticipated to be $19 million, he added.
“That’s beyond the energy impact,” Nirenberg said, and “proof that our commitment to renewable energy has economic benefits in addition to the important climate and sustainability progress that will pay huge dividends in the long run.”
Construction is scheduled to begin next year and is expected to require 250 to 300 temporary jobs, with priority hiring going to people from the San Antonio area, CPS Energy said.
Con Edison Development also plans to hire up to eight long-term positions from San Antonio and maintain $750,000 in annual spending with local suppliers and vendors through the life of the 25-year agreement, according to the press release. The 25 years will start once the project is online, CPS Energy spokeswoman Christine Patmon said.
“We are proud to be working with the visionary leaders of San Antonio and CPS Energy in support of their sustainable energy goals,” said Mark Noyes, president and CEO of Con Edison. “In addition, … We are also committing to $500,000 for community support and scholarships as we look forward to being part of the San Antonio community for many years to come.”
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