A new report from a leading credit rating company shows that San Antonio’s newest coal plant is running at less than half its capacity and is among the most expensive being run by a city or cooperative in the country.
A Moody’s Investors Service report released Thursday studied 61 municipally and cooperative-owned coal power plants across the country and various factors from 2016.
The J.K. Spruce 2 unit, run by city-owned electric and gas utility CPS Energy and completed in 2010, was third from last in the list for capacity, which is a measure of how much a power plant is being run. Moody’s says Spruce 2 was running at 44.38 percent capacity in 2016.
Dan Aschenbach, senior vice president at Moody’s, said an issue with the generator on Spruce 2 has affected the run rate of the power plant for a few years, reducing its capacity. The issue is expected to be fixed in 2018, he said.
“There are many well positioned plants that are running that are economically being dispatched,” Aschenbach said. “I believe that Spruce 2 would be in that mix if it didn’t have the generation repair issue.”
The report is the latest to question the economics of the J.K Spruce 2 unit, the newest power plant in CPS’ generation fleet.
CPS spokeswoman Melissa Sorola said in an emailed statement that the utility is “running our generation units in a much more dynamic way and not just as traditional baseload power plants.”
“Our community’s investments in our power plant fleet will help protect our customers against price spikes and ensure there is reliable power for San Antonio and Texas when the wind or solar resources aren’t available,” Sorola said.