CPS Energy and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development award for the energy provider’s New Energy Economy initiative, an approach to clean energy that leverages CPS Energy’s buying power to create jobs, economic development and educational investment in San Antonio.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented the award at its annual conference in Philadelphia on October 8, calling the initiative “visionary”. IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The non-profit organization applauded CPS Energy’s commitment to protect the environment by diversifying its generation portfolio to include 20 percent renewable energy, investing in clean technologies and creating economic development opportunities in San Antonio.
“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize CPS Energy and San Antonio Economic Development Foundation as being two of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” said IEDC chair Paul Krutko. “These awards are meant to honor the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities.”
“When we started the New Energy Economy, we knew it was the right thing to do for the community. It drives economic development and creates job opportunities for our customers,” said Shawn Eddy, senior director of enterprise facilities and asset management. “As for education, we have always been on the leading edge of mentoring programs and support for local schools. With one-third of our employees eligible for retirement within five years, it is good business sense to invest heavily into science, technology, engineering and math to solidify a pipeline for the next generation of CPS Energy employees.”
CPS Energy launched the New Energy Economy in June 2011 by building partnerships with companies dedicated to turning innovation into economic development. SAEDF assisted in the effort to attract the partners and their suppliers to San Antonio. In two short years, it’s been praised by others as new local headquarters, offices, or plants for seven clean technology companies have either opened or are under construction, including:
- OCI Solar Power – consortium with three partners (Nexolon, ERCAM, and Kaco) committed to creating 800-plus, long-term jobs and $1 billion in economic development as part of a 400 megawatt solar energy deal; headquarters opened in downtown San Antonio in Spring 2013.
- Nexolon America – constructing solar panel manufacturing plant in south San Antonio; headquarters opened in Spring 2013; nominated for designation as a State Enterprise Project.
- ERCAM Trackers – manufacturing dual-axis trackers for solar facilities; opened office near east San Antonio in 2013.
- Kaco New Energy – manufacturing inverters for solar facilities; opened office near east San Antonio in 2013.
- GreenStar LED – opened LED manufacturing plant in northwest San Antonio in 2012; created nearly 40 jobs.
- Consert – opened local office in northeast San Antonio in 2012; created nearly 70 local and out-of-area jobs.
- Silver Spring Networks – opening local office in San Antonio in late 2013; committed to creating 40 jobs.
The New Energy Economy will spur the creation of more than 1,000 jobs by 2018, with roughly 250 jobs already in existence, and pour millions of dollars into local education. Several educational institutions or groups have already received a total of more than one million dollars.
For more information about the initiative, visit cpsenergy.com.
CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric company, providing service to 741,000 electric and 331,000 natural gas customers in the Greater San Antonio area. The company offers the lowest rates among the top 10 largest U.S. cities, while ranking number one in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned energy systems and number one in Texas for solar generation. For more information, visit www.cpsenergy.com.