CPS Energy, a natural gas and electric provider in the greater San Antonio region, has broken ground on its first solar-plus-storage project.
The project is a culmination of three years of work that included a partnership with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), which is providing nearly 50 acres of land on which the solar facility and battery storage system will be constructed. SwRI aims to gain insight into the efficiencies of both solar production and battery energy storage. The information will also be shared with CPS Energy for potential future projects.
The $16.3 million project, which will be constructed by RES Americas, was approved earlier this year by CPS Energy’s board of trustees. The site will consist of a 5 MW solar power facility and a 10 MW battery storage system, located at 9800 W. Commerce in San Antonio. Before selecting RES, CPS Energy evaluated 22 proposals to be the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor.
“As beneficial as the site will be to the city’s energy future, SwRI will also benefit by leveraging the facility to become even more active in the grid-scale energy storage industry and to work with battery suppliers and component manufacturers,” notes Daniel Stewart, vice president of SwRI’s powertrain engineering division.
In 2016, CPS Energy was awarded a New Technology Implementation Grant (NTIG) for $3 million from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to fund part of the project. The primary objective of the NTIG program is to offset the cost of the implementation of existing technologies that reduce the emission of pollutants from facilities and other stationary sources.
Additionally, CPS Energy has plans to use an existing building on-site to develop an educational facility for students and the general public. The solar-plus-storage project is expected to be online in summer 2019.