Electric utilities are making efforts to reduce and end carbon emissions. But right now, they’re struggling with the overselling of alternatives when they don’t have enough essential backup in the form of storage. They also have the huge imperative of maintaining service — in lay terms, keeping the lights on. CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipally owned electric and gas utility with over 860,000 electric and 358,000 gas customers, is putting its best big green foot forward, but wants to avoid being trapped into rigidity. To learn more, read “San Antonio Utility Taking Steps Into An Ultra-Green Future.”
- CPS Energy has canvassed the world, seeking ideas that will best deliver 500 MWe of new technology, 900 MWe of solar power and 50 MWe of storage.
- In response to the CPS Energy July request for information (RFI), the utility has received nearly 200 expressions of interest from around the world.
- The responses break down this way:
- Refined gas-powered generation, turbines or reciprocating engines
- Compressed-air energy storage
- Liquid air (cryogenic) energy storage
- Thermal energy storage, using mostly waste heat in concrete or rock hosts
- Underground pumped hydro, using abandoned oil wells and mines for the drop
- Kinetic storage with flywheels
- These technologies promise longer duration, higher efficiency, and less degradation than today’s available battery storage, CPS Energy leadership said.
Path to 100% Perspective:
CPS has developed a Flexible Path plan with goals of reaching an 80 percent non-carbon-emitting energy portfolio by 2040 and reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Texas municipal utility plans to add about 900 megawatts of solar, 50 megawatts of energy storage and 500 megawatts of new technology solutions, to include alternative fuels.
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash