On Friday, CPS Energy revealed plans to put new air quality sensors all over San Antonio.
Todd Horsman, the senior director of strategy and innovation for CPS Energy, says that the units are low-cost.
With the San Antonio metro growth rate climbing nonstop for the last five years, CPS is taking action by unveiling the first prototype for a grid-connected air quality monitor.
"These units will help the city plan for that growth," Horsman said. “The intention of these is to get ahead of pollution and understand what's going on in our service territory, the folks moving to town and how we can make life quality better.”
The latest census data shows that San Antonio ranks No. 3 for the largest population increase over the past year, which is right behind Los Angeles.
With an increase in population that rivals the City of Angels, experts say that air pollution is always a cause for concern. At last check, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside area ranked No. 1 for the most ozone-polluted city.
Checking the TCEQ Texas air quality forecast this week, Thursday's level was marked "OZONE," with levels high enough for "moderate" concentrations in the afternoon and early evening.
CPS Energy already complies with monitoring air quality but with pricey, older machines… until now.
"So these larger units are highly expensive," Horsman explained.
Instead of a $40,000 hunk of metal, the new units are much cheaper and much more effective.
"Only $2,000," Horseman noted. "And they are so modular, we can deploy across much more of our service territory.”
The move will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"This is the very first one. We've got out it here to see how it works against our existing air monitors,” Horsman explained. “They are incredibly modular so you can monitor all kinds of things in the atmosphere from ozone to other air matter."