Solar

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

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.

Travis Bubenik / KRTS

Fronteras: The USDA has lifted a ban on inspectors working in Mexico, which could invigorate a cattle trade that has been hurt in both countries. We look at how one border city provides a model for solar power in Texas. State health officials have alerted the CDC about conditions in border facilities where thousands of Central American minors are being detained. Commentator Yvette Benavides takes us inside an immigration court room in San Antonio where these children and teens are making their cases.

courtesy: Recurrent Energy

On Fronteras: We continue our reporting on the tens of thousands of Central American children and teens who are now in the United States. A UTSA demographer, who researches immigration, tells us more about what's driving this surge to the north. Texas is known as an energy superpower, but solar is sluggish here. We also look at solar economics in Texas and lessons that can be learned from other southwest states. And, the Kitchen Sisters take us to the Mexican town of Tequila, it's in the heart of a region that produces the legendary spirit.

Joey Palacios / TPR News

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.

Eileen Pace

CPS Energy’s New Energy Economy is earning praise for fueling dramatic increases in local job growth.

An economic impact study found the energy company’s contributions are “unique” in the industry.

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation commissioned the study by St. Mary’s University Economist Dr. Steve Nivin, who specializes in industry impact research around the San Antonio area.

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