Last Thursday, a group of energy policy specialists from Kosovo engaged in a series of appointments in San Antonio to learn about everything our city is doing to supply power for a growing population in a sustainable fashion. The professional resources they engaged with were able to tackle the issues from multiple angles and provide a well-rounded view of the local energy landscape.
Our four international visitors began with a fruitful and intensive discussion at CPS Energy where CPS team members Tre Valladez, Wayne Callender, and Simon Castillo were able to answer their questions about the local power environment. Together, everyone discussed increasing renewable energy use, solar shifting, load shifting, and CPS’ new program like STEP and the New Energy Economy. The technical discussion all of them were able to have proved very useful for our IVLP participants.
Next, they were treated to a trip to the Alamo One Solar Farm on the south side of San Antonio. Touring the facility, the group could continue asking CPS their questions while also learning more about the solar panel production, facility maintenance, and power distribution that is required in managing a plant like Alamo One.
Then the visitors got a new view of the local energy situation through the lens of a local non-profit, Build San Antonio Green. Build SA Green works with builders and developers to create housing with a smaller carbon footprint and less of an environmental impact. Their certification process for building projects help ensure San Antonio is engaging in sustainable practices. The visitors appreciated the new perspective that Build SA Green provided.
Lastly, they were given yet another take on energy issues. Sergio Chapa with the San Antonio Business Journal met with the IVLP delegation members to discuss his work reporting on energy issues for South Texas. Providing his journalistic perspective, he and the visitors discussed not only the problems and opportunities faced by San Antonio in the energy market, but they also discussed how these issues might translate to the Kosovar system.
Through these appointments, the delegation members were able to meet their goals. They learned about interagency collaboration in energy policy through CPS; Build San Antonio Green addressed relevant social and ecological issues in their conversation; and Serio Chapa made clear the latest in energy and economic developments. Overall, the visitors left immensely satisfied with their time in San Antonio. As Burim Gerguri, a delegation member, informed us, “I had the idea of a beautiful city, but I met and enjoyed a miracle. A wonderful city and wonderful citizens with a lot of good foods. Goodbye San Antonio!”