Tucson Electric Power plans 800MW of new renewable energy by 2030

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TEP is looking at proposals for a new 100MW PV project that would be built and owned by a project partner. Image: TEP

Utility company Tucson Electric Power announced Wednesday that it is taking new steps to develop a more responsive and sustainable resource portfolio for the future.

The company filed its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), shedding light on TEP’s plans going forward.

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TEP plans to continue to diversify its generation portfolio by expanding its solar and wind generation — with a goal set to provide at least 30% of its power from renewable resources by 2030 — twice the number required by 2025 under Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard.

TEP also expects to add about 800MW of new renewable energy capacity by 2030. The company is also looking at proposals for a new 100MW PV project that would be built and owned by a project partner.

David G. Hutchens, TEP’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We’re evolving from a traditional utility to a more technology- and consumer-focused provider of energy products and services while maintaining reliability, convenience and affordability for our customers.

“Our plan recognizes the continued financial and operational benefits of owning Units 1 and 2 at the Springerville Generating Station, Arizona’s most efficient, cost-effective coal-fired power plant. However, renewable energy, energy efficiency and cost-effective natural gas technologies will play an increasingly prominent role in our future resource plans.”

TEP also expects to make greater use of energy storage systems, with the company already completing three energy storage projects with a combined capacity of 22MW. TEP’s 2017 IRP also outlines the company’s plans to retire and replace some of its coal-fired generating resources.

TEP will lose 170MW of coal-fired capacity when Unit 2 at the San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico is shut down at the end of 2017. The company plans to stop using the plant entirely when the current coal supply agreement ends in June 2022, cutting another 170MW of coal-fired capacity.

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