Retiring Spruce Coal Plant: CPS Rate Advisory Committee Recommendation

thu15dec3:00 pmthu6:00 pmRetiring Spruce Coal Plant: CPS Rate Advisory Committee RecommendationMultiple energy futures are being debated for San Antonio.

spruce coal plant retirement

Event Details

On December 15, 2022, the City/CPS-appointed Rate Advisory Committee will vote on its highly anticipated recommendation on how to close San Antonio’s last coal plant by 2030. Modeling by consultant Charles River Associates show the highest carbon reductions are achieved without converting one of the JK Spruce coal units to run on gas—which has been a preference of CPS throughout this long process. Eliminating coal’s 8 million metric tons of climate pollution (nearly half of San Antonio’s emissions, per 2021 EPA and COSA data) and ending ongoing air- and groundwater contamination bring tradeoffs, according to Charles River, including lost jobs and the anticipated future need for the utility to purchase more power off the open market.

Last week, RAC members lined up to express strong support for a gas-heavy generation scenario (see Portfolio 2 below) that probably fails to reach the required 2030 carbon reductions CPS and the City of San Antonio have committed to and uttering falls apart when we look ahead to 2050 and our commitment to net-zero emissions.

The alternative put forward by CPS from nine modeled alternatives is much stronger on carbon reductions (Portfolio 9) but would require more power purchases from the state grid—a sticking point for those prioritizing “dispatchable” power and large amounts of excess generation capacity to meet emergency situations.

Folks can engage in the process by signing up for public comments at:

We expect the December 15 meeting to be an in-person public meeting.

CPS Energy’s Board of Trustees is expected to receive the RAC’s recommendation at their December 19, 2002, meeting.

Watch for all RAC updates and livestreams via the CPS RAC page.

Portfolio 2: The Gas Hog

Portfolio 9: The Renewables-Heavy Pathway

For reference: Here is San Antonio’s commitments as adopted in the 2019 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (PDF):

RELATED: CPS Energy Online Town Hall (December 8, 2022)

RELATED: Watch the full video from Climate Justice SA’s recent People-Powered Town Hall on energy justice via Deceleration.


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