Distributed Energy Resources

CPS Energy RFI lays groundwork for solicitation that would seek solar, battery storage

San Antonio, Texas-based public power utility CPS Energy on July 27 issued a request for information (RFI) that it said will help in the development of a future request for proposal (RFP) that would seek proposals for the addition of solar, battery storage and firming capacity.

The RFI “confirms the utility’s continued interest in solar photovoltaic, energy storage, demand response, and other low-emitting sources to add more year-round, all-weather solutions,” CPS said.

The RFI will inform the design of two strategic CPS Energy initiatives, the “FlexPOWER Bundle” and “FlexSTEP.”

The FlexPOWER Bundle is the next step in CPS Energy’s “Flexible Path,” the utility’s overarching strategy to transform the utility’s generation fleet to lower and non-emitting sources for decades to come. 

CPS said the information obtained through the RFI process will help CPS Energy seek a partner or partners through a future RFP process to implement the FlexPOWER Bundle.

The FlexPOWER Bundle package of generation and firming capacity technologies will supplement 1,700 megawatts of aging power generation capacity and be broadly designed to meet the needs of a growing metropolitan service area, CPS said.

The FlexPOWER Bundle RFP will seek to add up to 900 MW of solar, 50 MW of battery storage, and 500 MW of firming capacity.

RFI also seeks information on energy efficiency

The RFI is also seeking information for innovative solutions and technologies for the next phase of the utility’s energy efficiency program, the Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP).

STEP was launched in 2009 and was designed to empower customers to manage their energy consumption through efforts like energy efficiency, conservation and adoption of renewable energy (i.e. rooftop solar).

The goal of the program was for savings of up to 771 MW over the course of 12 years, which was reached early – in August of 2019 – a year ahead of schedule. 

CPS Energy is now in the one-year STEP Bridge program as it prepares to present a new, long-term version of STEP, which will be designed to meet the changing needs of customers and introduce new energy efficiency technologies.

Responses to the RFI are due Aug. 31, 2020.

Additional information is available here.