In a city with so much sunshine, producing electricity with help from the sun makes perfect sense. Guided by its Flexible Path, CPS Energy recently teamed up with San Antonio-based Go Smart Solar to operate and maintain 5 megawatts (MW) of community-owned solar power for our community. The project is known as Big Sun Community Solar.
CPS Energy and Go Smart Solar believe solar should be easy and attainable for everyone. That’s why we created Big Sun: an easy-to-use program that brings solar energy to homeowners and renters who don’t have access to viable rooftops.
How does Big Sun work? CPS Energy customers (like you) purchase panels across the city on a network of solar carports. Go Smart Solar has identified sites throughout San Antonio where they’ll construct the solar carports. You can select the number of panels you’d like to purchase, with the production from your panels going to reduce your monthly electric bill.
Go Smart Solar will help you determine the number of panels that best suit your needs, finances, and energy consumption. Installation, maintenance, and monitoring the panels is taken care of for you. Energy generated from your Big Sun solar panels goes into the power grid. The amount of energy your panels produce is monitored and a credit shows up each month on your electric bill. Your credit lowers your monthly bill automatically and you can easily see how much energy your panels produced.
If you move within CPS Energy’s service area, your panels and the energy they generate are still yours. It’s the best solar option for renters or those expecting to move soon.
“With San Antonio continuing its leadership in solar power, Big Sun Community Solar offers another opportunity to our customers to support renewable power,” said Paula Gold-Williams, president and CEO of CPS Energy. “We are listening to an increasing number of our customers who want more solar products and services, regardless if they rent their homes or if putting panels on their roof is not optimal.”
CPS Energy’s drive for community-owned solar began in 2016 with Roofless Solar, a 1 MW pilot program. The 10,800 solar panels on 10 acres of land located in southeast San Antonio sold out within five months of the program’s launch. The success of Roofless Solar prompted Big Sun Solar, San Antonio’s second community-owned solar project.
CPS Energy first began offering solar rebates to customers in 2008. To date, these traditional solar rebate programs have resulted in more than $129 million in rebates to residential and commercial customers. CPS Energy recently allocated an additional $15 million to solar rebates, which brings the utility’s total investment in solar to $144 million under the Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP).
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More San Antonians are embracing solar as a clean, green, alternative source of power, with rebate activity up 24 percent in 2018 as compared to the previous year. San Antonio ranks No. 1 in the state of Texas and is the No. 7 solar city in the nation by total installed solar capacity.
To find out how Big Sun Community Solar will work for you, visit cpsenergy.com/bigsun. All you need is your zip code and your CPS Energy account number to get started.