In 2010, customers of Arizona Public Service Company received record amounts of renewable energy, enough to surpass Arizona’s energy goals for the third straight year. Renewables powered more than 3 percent of all customer electric needs last year – on track to 10 percent from renewables by 2015 and 15 percent by 2025. According to a company report filed each year with the Arizona Corporation Commission, last year customers received 826,534 megawatt-hours of renewable energy, 26 percent more than the previous year. “Our customers have told us they want more of their energy to come from renewable sources, and we are responding,” said APS President and Chief Operating Officer Don Robinson. “Renewable energy will play an increasing role in meeting the energy needs of our customers.” APS buys renewable energy from developers, owns its own facilities and subsidizes installations on customer homes and businesses. The energy comes from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and biogas generation sources. These renewable sources are a combination of large and small utility-scale projects as well as rooftop installations. The work APS put into renewable energy development in 2010 will help achieve Arizona’s aggressive energy goals: APS doubled the solar energy produced from customer-owned rooftop installations, signed agreements for construction of multiple company-owned renewable projects and facilitated groundbreaking on one of the largest solar plants in the world. The signed agreements were primarily for solar plants developed as part of the “AZ Sun” program, an initiative which has APS financing and owning 100 megawatts of new photovoltaic solar plants located across Arizona. Contracts were signed for plants in Hyder, Chino Valley, Gila Bend and at Luke Air Force Base. Together they equal 66 megawatts of new solar power for APS customers. In early 2011 a contract was signed for a fifth AZ Sun project, a 17-megawatt plant in Gila Bend. Three of the plants are currently under construction.
APS also signed contracts to purchase energy from a new Arizona wind farm, several additional photovoltaic plants and a landfill gas project.APS’s Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which provides financial incentives to customers for installing solar electric, solar water heaters and other renewable systems, saw accelerating growth in 2010. A record 5,100 new participants (a 66-percent increase from 2009) generated 131,413 megawatt-hours of renewable energy. Construction also commenced on what will be one of the largest solar plants in the world. The 250-megawatt Solana Generation Station broke ground in December 2010. The concentrating solar plant is expected to come online in 2013. Solana will be owned by Arizona Solar One LLC, a subsidiary of Abengoa Solar, with APS purchasing all the power through a long-term contract. A copy of the report sent to the ACC and a map containing information on each generation resource is available at aps.com/renewables. APS, Arizona's largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves about 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state's 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest principal of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).