Fire at CPS Energy substation leads to power outages for thousands on South Side

Some businesses were forced to close due to lack of power, high temperatures

Flames at a CPS Energy substation intensified Monday’s weather conditions in San Antonio, cutting off power to thousands on the South Side for about an hour.

SAN ANTONIO – Flames intensified Monday’s weather conditions in San Antonio, cutting off power to thousands on the South Side for a short time.

The power problems came the same day as many people received an alert on their phones to conserve power.

ERCOT, which manages the state’s power grid, asked for that power conservation. It tracked Monday’s demand, showing the grid was able to keep up with demand amid triple-digit temperatures.

Residents living near Pyron and Hancock avenues said they experienced outages as flames went up at the Pyron CPS Energy substation.

“We heard the transformer pop, but it always pops, so its always no big deal,” said resident Norma Esquivel. This time it was a bigger deal, it knocked out power to her and thousands of her neighbors.

Some nearby businesses were forced to shut down for the day, losing out on potential revenue.

“We start seeing business right around 6 (p.m.), so when the power went out, we’re like, ‘Oh, no.’ But at the same time, this heat is going to heat my building up so quickly that I had to shut down. I didn’t have a choice,” said Norman Velez with Broosters Backyard Icehouse.

The outage happened just hours after the phone alert for conservation was sent out as temperatures reached 107 degrees.

“I was expecting to lose electricity at some point,” Velez said.

In a tweet, CPS Energy said the customers were taken offline for safety. The utility said the cause of the fire would be investigated.

Click here to find your nearest cooling center in San Antonio.

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Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.