Bill Sinkin’s persuasive power led CPS Energy to support Solar San Antonio

When Bill Sinkin first approached CPS Energy about promoting solar power, officials were amenable, said Joe Fulton, who was director of environmental planning and research at the time.

A change in leadership delayed the agreement, but since it was inked in 2002,CPS Energy has remained the major sponsor behind Solar San Antonio as Sinkin built it into a force that has helped turn San Antonio into a solar power leader.

“Bill Sinkin was an amazing human being,” said CEO Doyle Beneby. “His energy and capacity to create positive change in San Antonio remains unparalleled. When many people might have turned to retirement and rest, Bill turned his energy toward the sun, and paved the way toward making San Antonio a leader in solar power. He was always a visionary, and he will be missed.”

Hundreds attended Sinkin’s funeral at Temple Beth El, for he touched so many lives in his roles as civil rights pioneer, interfaith advocate, banker, community activist and chairman of HemisFair, the event credited for catapulting San Antonio onto the national stage.

He was in his 80s when he turned his full attention toward advocating for solar power.

Sinkin constantly pushed CPS Energy to go farther in its embrace of solar, and with the arrival of CEO Doyle Beneby and his commitment to “big solar,” he grew increasingly gratified as CPS Energy became a leader in utility scale solar while continuing to support the expansion of rooftop systems.

In June 2012, Beneby, Mayor Julián Castro and other leaders honored Sinkin when they dedicated the 19.8 MW farm on land owned by the San Antonio Water System as the William R. Sinkin Centennial Solar Farms 1 and 2.

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