OCI Solar Power thought of an idea that leaders there say is sheer genius. They've put sheep to work on the grounds of a solar farm on the far northeast side to keep the grass cut.
As solar panels soak up plenty of hot Texas sunshine, there's plenty landscaping work to do at the Alamo 2 Solar Farm off Binz-Engleman near North Foster Road. But instead of people, OCI Solar Power is employing lambscapers.
More than 12,000 CPS Energy customers lost power in early morning thunderstorms Friday that downed tree branches and power lines. Late Friday afternoon, some 3,000 customers were still without service.
A statement late Friday from the utility said equipment that normally could be repaired must be replaced. CPS Energy is bringing an average of 50-200 customers back on at a time, even though all available CPS Energy work crews, plus contractor crews, are working to restore power.
Investigators continued Monday to search for the cause of an explosive fire that destroyed a building at the CPS Energy's Deely Power Plant over the weekend.
Employees who were on duty at 1:30 Sunday morning reported hearing popping noises from the building at the South Bexar County power plant, which contained stores of chemicals such as denatured alcohol and corrosion inhibitors.
No one was injured, but CPS Energy said the 1970s-era corrugated metal barn is a total loss and estimates damage at $500,000.
CPS energy proposed new incentives and fees in May to be considered by city council.
Since then they have revised both fees they proposed downward. A one-time install fee went from $450 to $225 and the $1 per kilowatt charge went to $2.50 per 5 kilowatt hours. The utility also plans to give out $20 million in rebates to new solar.
CPS Energy told council yesterday that both fees were necessary to continue funding debt incurred for transmission lines, the cost of which the utility says is falling primarily on non-solar users.
CPS Energy will be rolling out its new smart meters in four neighborhoods this summer. The meters communicate via radio frequency to the company directly on usage, which lowers costs and increases accuracy.
Thanks to a grant from CPS Energy, students at Jefferson High School are using state-of-the-art equipment to study renewable energy before their senior year. The program is part of the school’s architecture & environmental studies magnet.
In Blu Odam’s advanced energy and environmental technology class, his six students have been studying how to generate renewable energy.
“Wind energy, solar energy, biofuels which includes bio-diesel and ethanol, and hydro energy which includes damns and water falls,” Odam explained.
The smartest minds are in town energized about new technology and the changing world of energy production and consumption.
This year's DistribuTech conference is in San Antonio and is helping change the future of the energy industry.
Inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, leaders from the world's largest energy companies are busy talking about the latest and greatest in power transmission. The buzz is overwhelming, but really what It's really all about is how energy companies are updating their systems to better serve customers.