Texas, a leader in solar generating capacity in the United States, has a rising solar star: San Antonio, the nation’s seventh largest city, whose new energy policies are driving cleaner city development.
State-owned power company CPS Energy has the highest solar generation capacity in the state with 13 solar farms producing 497 megawatts of renewable power and purchase agreements with operators from across the country.
Last year, the San Antonio area added more than 250 megawatts of residential and commercial solar, enough to power about 40,000 homes. This year, it accounts for a third of Texas state’s solar capacity.
San Antonio’s Vision 2020, a shared vision of the city’s development outlined by a broad range of stakeholders, set a target of getting 450 megawatts of solar energy online by 2020. It has hit its target three years early.
The city, with its energy partners, has developed schemes to boost demand for solar energy by making it more accessible and affordable for San Antonians. Through Simply Solar, two pilot programmes provide customers with the opportunity to lease their roof for solar power generation or purchase a share of solar power through a centralised solar farm.
CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned energy utility providing both natural gas and electric service, and integral to the state’s New Energy Economy plans.