SAWS, CPS Energy Highlight Water-Energy Nexus at First Joint Board Meeting
Relationship between water and energy explored, joint projects approved
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro today presided over the first joint meeting between Trustees of the San Antonio Water System and CPS Energy. As part of the Mayor's vision for San Antonio's future, the two boards convened to discuss existing partnerships and upcoming projects that capitalize on the utilities' leadership in managing water and energy resources.
"One of the biggest challenges facing San Antonio is allowing for continued economic growth while protecting our environment and natural resources for generations to come," said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. "Through SA2020, our community is working with its utilities, SAWS and CPS Energy, to promote sustainability, encourage economic growth and spur innovation in clean technologies."
After opening remarks by the Mayor as well as SAWS and CPS Energy's Board chairs, the two utilities made a joint presentation highlighting the interdependent relationship between water and energy, and the role they play in the future of our region. By leveraging their partnership and relationship, SAWS and CPS Energy have achieved synergies and savings that benefit the community, keeping rates for both utilities among the lowest in the state.
Working through the Mayor's SA2020 strategic plan to maximize water and energy resources, SAWS and CPS Energy can help contribute to the community's economic development and quality of life.
|Replay of the live webcast available here courtesy of NOWCastSA.|
Recognizing the water-energy nexus, or the critical, mutually dependent relationship between the two resources, allows San Antonio to manage the two in tandem to help maintain reliable and sustainable supplies of both energy and water. Each is critical to production of the other; water is needed to generate electricity, and energy is needed to move water and treat wastewater. Since the two are interrelated, working together can yield enormous conservation benefits for the community, as well as economic and environmental benefits.
In Board actions, CPS Energy's Board of Trustees approved an amendment to its contract with SAWS for recycled water. CPS Energy has used wastewater effluent since 1963 to cool its power plants. SAWS current agreement with CPS Energy provides up to 40,000 acre-feet of recycled water per year for its power plants. With the addition of J.K. Spruce unit 2, CPS Energy may need to increase its use of recycled water. Today's amendment will provide up to 50,000 acre-feet of water per year for CPS Energy, ensuring that the utility has the water needed to generate electricity for the foreseeable future while providing sufficient water flows for the downstream waterways.
"CPS Energy has a long history of preserving our community's water," said CPS Energy Board Chair Derrick Howard. "We're pleased to continue working closely with SAWS to use recycled water and to find ways to make the most of our community's resources and their investments in our respective utilities."
In addition, SAWS Board of Trustees approved a lease agreement with SunEdison for a 20 megawatt (MW) solar energy installation at the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center in southeast Bexar County. With the large amount of available land along with the electrical infrastructure already in place, Dos Rios WRC is an ideal location for a solar installation. For this project, SAWS will lease almost 270 acres of land to SunEdison to construct 20 MW of solar production -- one of the largest solar projects in Texas. The installation at Dos Rios will be even larger than CPS Energy's existing Blue Wing solar project, a 14 MW installation covering 150 acres.
CPS Energy's Board also passed a resolution at today's meeting in support of the project, reinforcing its commitment to purchase 30 MWs of electricity produced at facilities constructed and operated by SunEdison.
Since 1992, San Antonio Water System has provided leadership in managing and developing water resources in the San Antonio region. Water and wastewater services are provided to more than 1 million consumers in the San Antonio area. For more information, visit www.saws.org.
CPS Energy is the nation's largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility, providing service to approximately 717,000 electric customers and 325,000 natural gas customers in and around the city of San Antonio. The utility ranks among the nation's lowest-cost energy providers while ranking number 1 in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned utilities. For more information, visit www.cpsenergy.com.
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