All Aboard the Power Train

On February 25, 2019, at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, TX, the EPIcenter presented the third part of their Global Lecture Series called, “Powering Transformation: German and US Perspectives.” The lecture compared smart city initiatives, renewable and mobility approaches from CPS Energy in the United States and Entega from Darmstadt, Germany.

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L-R: ALEXANDRA “LEXIE” VELASQUEZ, PAULA GOLD-WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CPS ENERGY AND DR. MARIE-LUISE WOLFF, CHAIR AND CEO OF ENTEGA

Aside from both companies being municipally owned utilities, both countries are in commitment to renewables.

Kimberly Britton, CEO of EPIcenter said, “both [countries] are facing pressures to eliminate dependence on coal.” In fact, the US coal power generation has declined in recent years. Then the German coal exit commission recently published their findings and included a mandate on their part to end the use of coal by the year 2038.

Dr. Marie-Luise Wolff, Chair and CEO of Entega from Darmstadt, Germany explained they plan to achieve that deadline with their oversupply. However, in the US it is still a controversial issue to eliminate coal entirety.

“Trying to get an alignment of not just your government but society is what really makes it a challenge here,” said Paula Gold-Williams, President and CEO of CPS Energy.

As the US harnesses the elimination of coal, the question of how do you define a smart city comes up.

“When we think about [a] smart city we think about putting out technology that helps people live more comfortably and being able to control technology in a way that it responds to you,” said Gold-Williams.

San Antonio is a smart city with a renewable and mobility approach.

The city has about 100-150 charging stations for electric powered vehicles. Although with the “wave of demand” for electrification, consumers in San Antonio rather as a renewable approach in powering transformation.

The San Antonio solar company, South Texas Solar Systems Inc., installed more than 300 residential rooftops last year. Solar panel systems are in demand because of their overall savings in the long run, but they are built to last a lifetime.

CPS Energy offers a solar rebate program to their customers through the San Antonio solar company South Texas Solar Systems. In Texas, there is a government federal tax credit of 26%.

The San Antonio solar company South Texas Solar Systems is a US energy provider powering transformation one rooftop at a time.

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