November 16, 2018 Read More →

Arizona utility to add 1,000MW of solar by 2025

Arizona Republic:

Salt River Project will massively increase the amount of solar energy the utility uses by 2025, saving the company money and reducing its reliance on natural gas, officials said Thursday. SRP officials said they plan to add 1,000 megawatts of solar to the system over seven years, a big increase from the 200 megawatts on SRP’s system today.

CEO Mike Hummel told the board members the amount is the maximum amount of solar energy SRP can put into service without major impacts on the grid and the company’s coal-fired power plants. “It is an aggressive move on renewables,” Hummel said. “It is an aggressive move on scale. But it is one I believe we can make work.”

SRP also has about 180 megawatts of solar on its system that customers have installed, and that figure is expected to grow to about 300 megawatts over the same time, Hummel said.

SRP came up with the plan after setting out to explore the maximum amount of solar energy it could accommodate on the power grid, he said. During the hottest hours of the hottest days, power demand from SRP customers peaks at about 7,000 megawatts.

The plan means SRP will get 16 percent of its energy supply from renewable sources in 2025, with 11 percent of that from solar alone. It will get another 11 percent of its supply from energy-efficiency measures that encourage customers to use less electricity.

SRP officials didn’t offer a cost estimate since the utility won’t construct plants, but Courtright said based on market prices today SRP should save money because solar energy is cheaper than power from natural gas plants.

More: Salt River Project plans massive increase in solar power use

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