Largest public power solar project in U.S. leads to national recognition
CPS Energy’s groundbreaking mega solar and economic development project prompted the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) to name the utility’s President and CEO Doyle Beneby its 2012 Utility CEO of the Year. SEPA will recognize Beneby for his leadership in integrating solar power into the company’s energy portfolio at its annual membership meeting today that’s being held in conjunction with Solar Power International.
Beneby recently signed a contract between CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power for the latter company to supply the utility with 400 megawatts (MW) of solar energy. The official agreement is believed to be the first of its kind, resulting in a soon-to-be-built local solar manufacturing facility, headquarters for both OCI Solar Power and its anchor consortium partner Nexolon, and 800 long-term jobs.
“I’m honored by SEPA’s recognition of what we’re doing in San Antonio. We closed on this deal because it makes sense for our customers, providing them with affordable, emissions-free energy that diversifies our portfolio and shields them from environmental-associated risks,” said Beneby. “Additionally, we want to generate economic development and educational investment with every power agreement we sign.”
Under Beneby’s two-year leadership with CPS Energy, the utility launched its New Energy Economy initiative, brokering partnerships with seven clean tech companies. The partnerships are bringing in more than 1,000 direct local jobs, millions of dollars in educational investment, clean energy development, cutting-edge demand management technology for the utility’s customers, and research and development.
“The Solar Electric Power Association is pleased to recognize Doyle Beneby as its 2012 Utility CEO of the Year. He understands the importance of integrating solar power into the San Antonio region’s energy mix, and we applaud his ongoing commitment to further diversify CPS Energy’s electricity generation,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO.
“Mr. Beneby is moving San Antonio to the forefront of affordable solar energy in the U.S. and leading a charge that has the potential of transforming the region into a center for clean energy development,” added Hamm.
SEPA, an educational non-profit, is dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios for the benefit of the utility, its customers and the public good. With more than 1,000 utility and solar industry members, SEPA provides unbiased utility solar market intelligence, up-to-date information about technologies and business models, and peer-to-peer interaction.
CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility, providing service to approximately 728,000 electric and 328,000 natural gas customers in the Greater San Antonio area. The utility offers the lowest rates among the top 10 largest U.S. cities, while ranking number 1 in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned utilities and number 1 in Texas for solar generation. For more information, visit www.cpsenergy.com and read the CPS Energy blog.