CPS Energy officers say they’ve a big reserve of dispatchable vitality prepared for the approaching winter — roughly 33% greater than the utility expects to wish throughout peak utilization hours on chilly mornings, when renewables like photo voltaic and wind aren’t but producing.
Chief Energy Supply Officer Benny Ethridge informed CPS Energy’s board of administrators Tuesday the utility expects to have 6,500 megawatts of vitality out there per day, not together with renewables.
The utility projects peak demand will probably be round 4,900 megawatts per day throughout the winter, with peak hours occurring within the mornings when persons are heating up their houses and preparing for work.
“As you’re looking at our energy supply for the winter, you’ve got a large reserve margin, about 1,600 megawatts over and above what we expect our peak demand to be,” Ethridge stated.
During final 12 months’s Winter Storm Elliott, which precipitated widespread flight cancellations and downed utility strains proper earlier than Christmas, CPS Energy noticed peak demand of 5,167 megawatts, which set a file on the time.
CPS Energy skilled some outages throughout Elliott attributable to ice and bodily harm to its tools, not extreme vitality demand.
Prepping for precipitation
At Tuesday’s assembly, CPS Energy officers introduced updates on varied efforts to guard towards these varieties of weather-related damages, akin to new everlasting enclosures round utility infrastructure.
“These fellows here have done a lot of work to make sure that our units are ready to go,” Ethridge stated, gesturing to his crew.
Utility officers additionally careworn extra coaching for workers who would possibly have to drive in winter climate or carry out repairs in excessive chilly, and mentioned plans to verify that pure fuel suppliers have carried out required weatherization upgrades.
After back-to-back extreme winter storms in 2022 and 2021, CPS Energy’s chief meteorologist Brian Alonzo stated it’s unclear what the approaching winter would possibly deliver.
The Climate Prediction Center supplies no indication San Antonio will see temperatures larger or decrease than regular, however the El Niño climate sample is anticipated to deliver larger than common precipitation.
“El Niño is gonna be a big factor as we head into the winter months,” Alonzo stated. “As we get into an El Niño-type pattern, we get more storm systems that come more in our direction and gives us more rain chances.”
Cruel summer time
That prediction comes because the area is experiencing an distinctive drought. Although rain prior to now week has offered some aid, San Antonio recorded simply 2.02 inches of rain over the summer time, its fifth driest summer time on file.
CPS Energy’s peak demand over the summer time reached 5,703 megawatts, up 5.4% from 2022. The utility initiated 37 “demand response events” wherein ratepayers had been requested to preserve vitality.
CPS officers stated these requests saved an estimated 250 megawatts, sufficient to energy as much as 50,000 houses.
Melissa Sorola, vice chairman of company communications and advertising and marketing, credited the utility’s heightened conservation messaging, which included textual content messages, emails
, and promoting on receipts and in grocery shops.
On one sizzling day in August, she stated, CPS Energy despatched out 350,000 emails and 21,000 textual content messages to prospects asking them to preserve energy.
“We are very cognizant of message fatigue. We heard that around the late August timeframe,” Sorola stated. “There was a lot that we were sending out, but it was very hot and we had to do that.”
CPS Energy is a monetary supporter of the San Antonio Report. For a full listing of enterprise members, click on right here.