- With the launch of the Bright Tucson Community Solar program, TEP was the country’s first IOU to offer a program that allows customers to purchase energy from local solar arrays in 150 kilowatt-hour (kWh) “blocks,” thus reducing or eliminating their use of conventional power while locking in an affordable solar energy rate for up to 20 years. Last year, SEPA recognized TEP with an award for Utility Innovation in Solar Program Design for the program.
- Continued partnership with the University of Arizona (UA) Science and Technology Park’s Solar Zone, where TEP both owns and purchases power from large, utility-scale solar farms built by several solar developers using different solar technologies.
- TEP’s 5 MW Sundt Solar Boost Project, which will produce up to 5 MW of electricity using a concentrating solar power system without added emissions at the company’s H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station in Tucson.
- TEP is currently studying various forms of electric energy storage (EES) technologies, which will play a critical role in renewable integration. TEP is working with the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE), the UA and other project partners to develop a combined compressed air and battery storage system at the UA’s Science and Technology Park southeast of Tucson.
“Last year, solar energy was the nation’s fastest growing generation source thanks in large part to utilities like Tucson Electric Power,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO. “Through their first-of-a-kind community solar program to their storage and CSP initiatives, TEP has proven why it is deserving of the Investor Owned Utility of the Year title. Their innovation and strong portfolio should serve as a model for other IOUs on how to successfully embrace clean solar energy.”“TEP is a national leader in the deployment of renewable energy. The partnership between TEP and the University of Arizona in developing the Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park is an example of TEP’s leadership and forward thinking in the utility industry. The Solar Zone has emerged as a leading center for solar energy development, especially in the testing, evaluation and demonstration of new solar technology,” said Bruce Wright, Associate Vice President for Research Parks at the University of Arizona. Tucson Electric Power provides safe, reliable service to more than 404,000 customers in southern Arizona. To learn more about TEP’s solar energy programs, visit tep.com. For more information about UNS Energy, visit uns.com.