CPS Energy’s board of trustees voted 4-1 on January 23 to approve a new energy mix, which will see the municipally owned utility phase out its use of coal by 2028. For more, read CPS Energy board approves plan to phase out coal by 2028.
- Under the approved plan, CPS Energy will shut down one of two remaining coal plants in 2028 and convert the second to a natural gas plant by 2027, which will run indefinitely.
- The new mix aims to minimize CPS Energy’s reliance on the grid and to ensure it has plenty of dispatchable energy – meaning it can be turned on and off when needed.
- Known as Portfolio #2, the plan will add roughly 4,928 megawatts of generation capacity to the utility’s portfolio over the next seven years, including 1,380 megawatts from combined cycle natural gas and about 800 from reciprocating internal combustion engines that run on natural gas or diesel.
- Another 500 megawatts will come from wind, 1,180 from solar, and 1,060 from lithium battery storage.
- CPS Energy officials emphasize that the utility will revisit the portfolio every two to three years, and Portfolio #2 offers enough flexibility that as cleaner technologies come online, they can be added to reduce CPS Energy’s reliance on natural gas.
Path to 100% Perspective
Utilities in the United States are seeing the value and beginning to invest in flexible gas solutions as part of their portfolios to integrate a growing share of renewables in the most efficient manner. CPS Energy’s plan, which includes fast starting gas power plants, will give the utility a solid and much cleaner portfolio that provides optimized and reliable electricity to its customers. Their plan also sets a precedent for how a Texas utility can accelerate the transition toward 100% renewable energy with hybrid solutions. Including flexible gas assets in the portfolio is now becoming the best and fastest way to integrate renewables and ensure security of supply, regardless of weather conditions.