San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy finalized an agreement with its nuclear partner last month, ending a two-month legal battle over a proposed nuclear plant expansion.
The settlement allows the utility to stop making payments on the expansion project while retaining a small share in it. The partner, Nuclear Innovation North America, (NINA) will pay CPS $80 million and to contribute $10 million in assistance for low-income local residents to pay power bills.
Over the next four years, the money will go to the Residential Energy Assistance Partnership (REAP), which helps disadvantaged elderly, disabled and low-income customers with small children pay their natural gas and electric bills. It is a partnership among CPS Energy, Bexar County and the City of San Antonio.
Recipients receive credit on their CPS Energy utility bills as well as information about CPS Energy programs on weatherization, low-cost/no-cost energy efficiency, senior- citizen aid and critical-care assistance. CPS Energy’s annual commitment to REAP has been $1 million in direct customer assistance.
The settlement ends the litigation between CPS and NINA that had threatened a proposal to add two more nuclear reactors to the South Texas Project facility near Bay City. Before the settlement, CPS owned 40 percent of the project and was responsible for millions in development costs. It now owns less than 8 percent and no longer has to pay development costs.
CPS is the largest municipally-owned energy company in the nation providing both gas and electricity in the greater San Antonio area.
Source: Texas newspapers, CPS