CPS Energy Making Strides to Reduce Air Pollution In San Antonio

CPS Alamo 1-II


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013

Sean Sarah, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal Campaign, (330) 338-3740
Scheleen Walker, Director, Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter, (512) 477-1729 x 115

Sierra Club Congratulates CPS Energy for Outstanding Environmental Leadership
Recent Analysis Shows Greenhouse Gas Emissions Declining Quickly

SAN ANTONIO – An analysis of data for the 2012 calendar year shows a large reduction in carbon and other climate disruption-causing pollution from power plants operated by CPS Energy of San Antonio. In 2011, CPS Energy committed to gradually phase out and retire its aging JT Deely coal plant 15 years ahead of schedule. Under the leadership of CEO Doyle Beneby and supported by Mayor Julián Castro, the utility made significant investments in solar power. By the time the solar program is fully implemented, over 400 MW of clean solar power will provide CPS Energy customers with Texas-based energy. These solar projects provide good paying jobs in a growing solar industry in South Texas, and require none of the precious water resources used for cooling conventional power plants. In addition, CPS Energy’s Save for Tomorrow Energy Program (STEP) has so far saved 317 megawatts (MW) of electric load, putting it well on its way to meeting the goal set in 2010 to avoid 771 MW by 2020 through residential and commercial energy conservation, demand reduction and solar rebates.

“We congratulate CPS Energy on a job well-done. Phasing out the old Deely plant and making significant investments in solar power and energy efficiency is good planning, good for our economy, and good for San Antonio’s ratepayers” said Al Armendariz, Senior Campaign Representative of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “The reductions in carbon pollution at CPS Energy have set the benchmark for Texas utilities.”

The resource plan developed by CPS Energy ensures their customers don’t have to worry about the steep expense of retrofitting a 30-year old coal plant to meet 21st century public health safeguards. Through smart and careful planning, CPS Energy has reduced emissions of both conventional pollutants and carbon pollution that causes climate disruption. In 2012, carbon emissions were down 9 percent from the previous year, and by 2020 CPS Energy is on track to achieve a 29 percent decrease in carbon pollution compared to 2011. Emissions of nitrogen oxides, which can cause the orange and red ozone days, have fallen by over 2000 tons, or more than 70 percent, since 1997. The reductions in nitrogen oxides are critical to help keep the city away from high levels of air pollution that would put San Antonio into nonattainment of air quality under EPA guidelines.

“There are real public health benefits when utilities reduce pollution coming from their smoke stacks, and we thank CPS Energy for the achievements putting cleaner power sources on-line,” said Scheleen Walker, Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “We look forward to working with CPS Energy and all other stakeholders in San Antonio to build on this achievement and to make the city a leader in clean energy development in Texas.”

The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club last year awarded CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby a Special Service Award for his contribution to a cleaner Texas.


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