CPS Energy solar array

Most people know San Antonio, Texas for the Alamo, but in the energy sector, the city’s gaining a reputation as a solar powerhouse.

In 2016, the San Antonio area added more than 250 megawatts of residential and commercial solar. That’s enough to generate power for about 40,000 homes. It represents more than a third of the state’s new solar energy.

Rick Luna is a senior manager at CPS Energy, the city-owned utility. He says the growth is largely driven by consumer demand.

Luna: “There’s a lot of desire on the part of customers to see this solar generation in their community.”

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The solar boom builds on San Antonio’s long-standing commitment to reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Eight years ago, the city created the Save for Tomorrow Energy Program. It provides incentives for energy efficiency and investing in renewables.

For example, CPS customers can get a rebate that covers about a quarter of the cost of installing rooftop solar panels.

Luna: “And we’ve added a new feature where customers can earn a little bit higher rebate if they use locally manufactured components.”

Luna says he hopes this incentive to buy local will lead to more clean energy and a brighter economic future for San Antonio.

Reporting credit: Justyna Bicz/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo credit: CPS Energy.

Editor’s note (8/4/2017): San Antonio added 250 megawatts of residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar in 2016. 

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...