CPS gets approval to build test site in long-term plan to burn less fossil fuels

CPS Energy board of trustees approves $16.3 million project

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SAN ANTONIO – The board of trustees at CPS Energy recently approved a $16.3 million project that would allow them to build a test site to shift to solar generation.

According to David Jungeman with CPS Energy, this is a part of the Flexible Path initiative, which is a long-term plan to burn less fossil fuels and use more reliable resources.

The project will consist of a 5 megawatt solar power facility and a 10 megawatt battery storage system to be built on the property of Southwest Research Institute.

Jungeman said the institute hopes to combine solar and energy storage technology to shift the energy from solar peak hours, which is mid- to early afternoon, to energy demand time, which is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The sun "obviously isn’t shining all of the time, so what we are doing, we are backing up solar energy with this energy storage,” Jungeman said. “There is going to be distributed models all throughout our service territory.”

The project is a culmination of three years of work that included a feasibility study, a collaborative agreement with Southwest Research Institute and a new technology implementation grant application in which CPS was awarded $3 million to offset part of the project cost.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place this fall.