A key plank of San Antonio’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan is to eliminate CO2 emissions from the city’s utility, CPS Energy, which is the largest municipally owned energy utility in the country. Pursuing this goal with 100 percent wind and solar generation could drive up CPS Energy’s generation and transmission costs 3 to 4 times and increase the land and materials use of San Antonio’s energy system more than 10 times.

Key Points:

  • Transitioning CPS to zero-carbon electricity generation by 2050, with 80 percent coming from wind and solar, is predicted to increase the cost of generation and transmission nearly three times compared to current costs, after adjusting for inflation. Achieving this goal with 100 percent wind and solar would increase costs by almost four times.
  • Under the 100 percent wind and solar scenario, the average San Antonio family would pay at least $1,000 more annually for electricity, after adjusting for inflation.
  • The land needed for a 100 percent wind and solar electric grid would reach more than 700,000 acres, more than 2.5 times the size of San Antonio and nearly 10 times the amount of land currently used to power the city’s electric grid.
  • A comparable scenario that replaces gas and coal assets, based on their current useful lives, with natural gas generation would see the inflation-adjusted cost per MWh of generation and transmission decrease by 5 percent.