CPS Energy, juwi solar to Partner in San Antonio Solar Project

CPS Energy, juwi solar to Partner in San Antonio Solar Project

CPS Energy and juwi solar Inc. today announced a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that will lead to development of the Blue Wing Solar project, a 14-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic installation.

The project is scheduled to be built just southeast of San Antonio near the intersection of IH 37 and U. S. 181 on a site that will be clearly visible from both highways.

juwi solar, headquartered in Boulder, Colo., plans to install 214,500 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules for the project, which will generate an estimated 25,345 megawatt-hours (MWH) of electricity each year.  The facility will produce as much electricity as approximately 1,800 homes use annually.

This newest PPA comes just two months after CPS Energy signed a 20-year agreement to acquire 27 MW from Tessera Solar’s new project in West Texas. “Now with 41 MW, CPS Energy has the most solar-generated electricity under contract in the state of Texas,” said Cris Eugster, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer.  “The Blue Wing Solar Farm further solidifies our state and national leadership in renewable energy.  We are already number 1 nationally in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned utilities.  Renewables like solar and wind are part of our overall strategy to meet Greater San Antonio’s energy needs with diversified energy sources.”

The Blue Wing PPA is another CPS Energy step forward on its commitment announced last summer to acquire up to 100 MW of solar electricity by 2020, said Aurora Geis, chair of the CPS Energy Board of Trustees.  It’s also part of the company’s ambitious goal to achieve renewable-energy capacity equal to 20 percent of customers’ peak electrical demand by 2020.

juwi solar expects to break ground on Blue Wing Solar in the first quarter of 2010 and begin producing electricity before 2011.

“juwi solar is excited to work with CPS Energy and the local community to bring utility-scale, clean, renewable solar energy to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County,” said Michael Martin, managing director of juwi solar.  “In addition to providing renewable energy to CPS Energy customers, the Blue Wing Solar project demonstrates juwi solar’s ability to deliver technologically advanced and financeable utility-scale solar solutions.”

Construction of the solar facility is expected to benefit Greater San Antonio and create jobs, Martin said.  Local electrical contractors will have the opportunity to take part in the bidding process prior to groundbreaking.  The project is expected to create approximately 100 full-time-equivalent jobs during construction and several permanent full-time-equivalent jobs during the project operation and maintenance phase.

CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned energy company providing both natural gas and electric service.  Acquired by the City of San Antonio in 1942, the company serves approximately 700,000 electric customers and more than 320,000 natural gas customers in and around America’s seventh-largest city. CPS Energy ranks among the nation’s lowest-cost energy providers and owns the highest financial ratings of any electric system in the U. S.  For more CPS Energy information, visit www.cpsenergy.com.

juwi solar Inc. (JSI), based in Boulder, Colo., is a developer and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of solar power plants throughout North America.  JSI’s main focus is the development, construction and operation of power plants 1MW or larger.  JSI is a majority-owned corporation of juwi Holding AG, which ranks among Europe’s leading renewable-energy companies. juwi develops large-scale solar photovoltaic, wind and biomass energy projects. With approximately 225 employees in juwi’s solar group, the company has been involved in the development, design, construction and operation of more than 800 photovoltaic projects with a current total generation capacity of 250 MW.