Sustainability

New Energy Economy, STEP and Diversified Generation


The New Energy Economy is CPS Energy’s approach to attract business partners that drive job growth, improve our environment and invest in education. San Antonio is emerging as a hub for clean energy technology. CPS Energy has partnerships with OCI Solar, Nexolon, Consert Inc., Greenstar, Cold Car USA, Summit Power/Texas Clean Energy Project and Sun Edison.

CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Program (STEP) consists of residential and commercial energy conservation, demand reduction and solar rebates to avoid 771 megawatts (MW) of electric load by 2020. Through energy conservation rebates, programmable thermostats and advanced electrical meters, customers can better manage their energy usage to help reduce energy demand.

CPS Energy has a diversified generation portfolio. Pertaining to the generation load requirements for fiscal year ending 2012, coal provided 51 percent, nuclear 26 percent, natural gas/oil 11 percent, purchased power renewables 10 percent and other purchased power 2 percent.
Total generation capacity was as follows: natural gas/oil 37 percent, coal 32 percent, nuclear 16 percent, purchased power renewables 13 percent, demand reduction 2 percent.

CPS Energy’s renewable goal is 1500 MW of renewable energy (wind, solar, landfill gas) capacity by 2020 (approx. 20 percent of generation capacity); 1,516 MW under contract as of mid-2012, of which 913.4 MW is operational.

A landmark deal between CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power will result in the construction of 400 megawatts (MW) of solar energy, bring several manufacturing facilities that produce solar panel components, and create 805 jobs in San Antonio over 4 years.

CPS Energy is reducing emissions by “rebalancing” its generation portfolio with additional renewable energy, the Summit Texas Clean Energy Project (IGCC technology and 90 percent carbon capture) and the purchase of the natural gas plant in Seguin.  CPS Energy’s goal is to have 65 percent of low-carbon emitting generation by the year 2020.

Spruce 2 was constructed with state-of-the-art emission controls and has some of the lowest emissions permitted rates in the nation.  When compared to the NOx and SO2 emission rates of over 1,000 other coal units in the nation, Spruce 2 had the lowest emission rates in 2010 and 2011.
CPS Energy has invested over $245 million in emission control technologies at its coal units since 1999, including system over fired air (SOFA), baghouses, NOx combustion controls and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology.  CPS Energy NOx emissions have been reduced over 60 percent from 1997 to 2011. The addition of the Deely 2 SCR in June 2011 will add an additional reduction of about 15 percent per year in 2012.

Recycling Efforts

  • CPS Energy has been recycling materials since the 1940s. In 2011, CPS Energy recycled 531,758 tons of material, which includes 23,605 tons of tree-trimming debris. Single stream recycling, using one container for all materials, was implemented in January 2012 in all office facilities, adding steel cans and newspapers to the list of already recycled materials, which consists of all paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and catalogs.
  • CPS Energy recycled 477,274 tons of coal-combustion by-products in 2011, of which 270,683 tons was fly ash, resulting in the reduction of 238,201 tons of carbon dioxide. (Fly ash is used in concrete by cement manufacturers.)
  • From 1962-2012, CPS Energy has saved approximately 925,915 acre-feet or 308 billion gallons of Edwards Aquifer water by using treated sewage effluent from the San Antonio Water System  (SAWS) as once through cooling for power generation.

Energy Efficiency Rebates

  • CPS Energy’s Mow Down Smog Program provides customers rebates for purchasing electric lawn equipment instead of higher emission gasoline powered equipment. A total of 5,229 electric lawn equipment rebates were issued between 2001 and 2011.
  • CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio have a partnership to provide tree rebates to customers (Greenshade Tree Rebate Program). 5,735 tree rebates were given to customers in 2011 and 2012. CPS Energy also distributes 3,000 – 5,000 trees to customers at several community events each year.
  • CPS Energy uses cleaner alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel such as ethanol and ultra-low sulfur diesel for our fleet vehicles. As part of its research program, CPS Energy installed nearly 100 electric vehicle charging stations in the San Antonio area in 2011-2012. CPS Energy currently provides residential rebates for electric vehicle charging stations and is using several electric vehicles in its fleet.

Environmental Stewardship

CPS Energy worked with the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, SAWS and the Alamo Area Council of Governments to develop a regional 2005 baseline greenhouse gas emission inventory. Total carbon dioxide for CPS Energy’s electric generation was approximately 17 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2011. We are documenting our total carbon footprint on an annual basis, and our operations emissions are approximately 200,000 metric tons of CO2.

Through our membership in the American Public Power Association and Large Public Power Council, CPS Energy is partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the rest of the electric power industry in the Power Partners program — a joint government-industry initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through Power Partners, the electric power sector and DOE are working together to develop and implement voluntary climate actions to sustain economic growth. As a part of this effort, the Power Partners Resource Guide (PPRG) was developed to help electric utilities identify GHG emission or emission intensity reduction opportunities and find the latest, "state-of-the-art" information on a variety of topic areas through the use of links to credible websites. The PPRG now includes hundreds of useful sources, and is hosted at http://uspowerpartners.org/.