CPS Energy Announces Spruce Coal Closure in 2028

Sierra Club celebrates, applauds community fight for clean air

Emma Pabst, emma.pabst@sierraclub.org, (512) 228-9705

San Antonio, TX – Today, the CPS Energy Board of Trustees approved a plan to retire the utility’s last remaining coal plant – the Spruce coal plant – by 2028. The announcement follows decades of community outcry about the plant, which advocates criticize for its contribution to global warming, air pollution, water pollution, and cost to CPS Energy ratepayers. 

“Spruce retiring is a big victory for San Antonio’s air, water, and climate” said Emma Pabst, representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “It just goes to show the power of community organizing. After decades of speaking up, San Antonians have successfully persuaded a multi-billion dollar utility company to do the right thing. While we still have a long way to go in reaching 100% renewable energy–including avoiding the false promises of other fossil fuels like fracked gas–today’s decision is a step in the right direction for the city.” 

Spruce is the 6th largest climate polluter in the state. It released over 8.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, 6.3 million pounds of nitrogen oxides, and 1.9 million pounds of sulfur dioxide emissions into the air in 2021. 

After deliberating upon a slate of 9 different options for retiring Spruce, the board also voted on how CPS should replace the power generated by Spruce. The utility’s board voted in favor of “option 2,” which would convert over half of the plant to produce energy from gas until 2065. Advocates have urged CPS to instead source power from renewables, a path that would enhance reliability and lower bills and pollution. Advocates have also supported as a last resort the option that puts a 2035 expiration date on any gas usage, arguing it would let the city keep meeting its climate action plan goals and wouldn’t lock in decades of volatile and highly polluting infrastructure. 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.