San Antonio municipal utility CPS Vitality needs to interchange ageing fossil fueled technology with greater than a gigawatt of photo voltaic, power storage and versatile capability, and it’s asking for concepts on easy methods to get there. 

This week’s request for info (RFI) is a gap step towards assembly CPS’s “Versatile Path” plan, which requires an 80 p.c non-carbon-emitting power portfolio by 2040 and reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Responses will assist inform choices to satisfy its FlexPOWER Bundle plan, which envisions including about 900 megawatts of photo voltaic, 50 megawatts of power storage and 500 megawatts of “new know-how options” to interchange the necessity for getting pure gas-fired energy from outdoors energy crops.   

CPS has set an August 31 deadline for would-be useful resource suppliers to reply to its RFI, and expects to solicit formal bids by a request for proposals (RFP) in early 2021. 

The brand new assets are wanted over the following decade to assist substitute about 1,700 megawatts of fossil-fired technology set for retirement over that point. They’re additionally a part of the utility’s aim to extend its renewable power capability to half of its technology combine by 2040.

CPS now will get about 22 p.c of its electrical energy from about 1,000 megawatts of wind energy and about 500 megawatts of photo voltaic, with pure fuel making up 46 p.c of its remaining portfolio, and coal-fired energy one other 18 p.c. 

CPS closed two of its coal-fired crops in 2018 and has not introduced a retirement date for its two remaining ones. It’s additionally planning to retire the ageing Braunig and O.W. Sommers pure fuel energy crops. 

The utility’s name for 500 megawatts of “new know-how” options seeks choices to interchange pure gas-fired energy it had deliberate to buy on the grid markets operated by Texas grid operator ERCOT. CPS backed away from its procurement plan in February below group stress to scale back its carbon emissions, however hasn’t outlined simply what applied sciences might meet its wants for energy to serve clients when wind and photo voltaic isn’t accessible. 

“We’re this capability altogether to finally substitute an influence plant, so it must be accessible when our clients want it,” CPS Vitality Chief Working Officer Cris Eugster stated on the Monday assembly the place the utility’s board authorized the RFI.  “It could possibly be pure fuel, it could possibly be long-duration storage, it could possibly be a know-how we’re not even conscious of proper now.”

CPS can even be counting on getting about 16 p.c of its 2040 power wants from “versatile technology,” Paula Gold-Williams, CPS president and CEO, stated in a February presentation on the DistribuTech convention in San Antonio. That’s basically a placeholder for applied sciences starting from demand response to versatile electrical car charging, and places a heavy reliance on the demand facet of its portfolio to succeed in its targets. 

CPS serves greater than 840,000 electrical and 350,000 natural-gas buyer accounts, or about 1.9 million residents, and has already instituted a broad set of business and residential demand response applications which have efficiently decreased peak load by 771 megawatts. It is also testing out built-in solar-storage-grid controls at its Fort Sam Houston microgrid undertaking, funded by the Nationwide Renewable Vitality Laboratory’s Undertaking Combine, designed to analyze “plug and play” options for a wise energy grid. 

CPS additionally authorized a “inexperienced tariff” program this week that will enable giant industrial clients to safe their very own renewable power assets by long-term utility contracts. The brand new tariff was supported by Microsoft, which operates an information heart in San Antonio it needs to energy with cleaner power. Related dynamics from information heart operators like Google and Fb have pushed clear power tariff applications in different states. 

Texas municipal utilities CPS Vitality and Austin Vitality have each set zero-carbon by 2050 targets, making them outliers in a state that has been getting an rising quantity of its power from renewables however which nonetheless lacks a statewide carbon discount goal. They’re amongst a rising variety of U.S. utilities making such commitments, together with Southern Firm, Duke Vitality, Arizona Public Service, NRG, PSEG, Xcel Vitality, Shoppers Vitality and Alliant Vitality. 

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