SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSAT.
A devastating winter storm — which left millions of Texans without electricity and heat, and scrambling for shelter, food and water — again exposed the vulnerability of Texas’ isolated energy grid.
The near catastrophic collapse of power could create new challenges for San Antonio economic development officials seeking to retain and recruit companies and talent.
“It was exceedingly serious. Many people were put in extreme distress,” said former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, one of the city’s more tenured economic development leaders and now a partner in New York-based American Triple I Partners, which manages infrastructure assets. “As for the long run, it has the potential to damage our economic development reputation.”
One of the key assets that Cisneros said San Antonio officials have pitched to prospective companies is reliable, uninterruptible power. It’s essential, he said, for entities like data centers, cybersecurity operations and medical facilities, for example, which are part of the lifeblood of the city’s economy.