Arizona-based Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is seeking bids for the design and construction of new large renewable energy resources, including a community-scale solar array that the company says could power more than 21,000 homes.
Specifically, TEP has issued a request for proposals (RFP) that would enable the company to purchase power from a solar facility with up to 100 MW of capacity under a 20-year agreement. The project, which could be built within TEP’s service territory or tied into existing transmission facilities, would boost TEP’s total community-scale solar energy resources by nearly 40%, the company says.
According to the proposal, the new solar facility would begin producing power in early 2019. TEP says it is working to deliver at least 30% of its power from renewable resources by 2030, doubling the state’s 2025 goal. TEP anticipates an additional 800 MW of new renewable capacity by the end of 2030, boosting its total renewable energy portfolio to approximately 1,200 MW.
“We’re working to provide more solar power for more customers for less money,” says Carmine Tilghman, senior director of energy supply and renewable energy. “This new solar facility will help us achieve our renewable energy goals, while preserving safe, reliable and affordable service for our community.”
In addition, TEP is also evaluating proposals submitted for a new 100 MW wind power facility that would be built and owned by a project partner. According to the proposal, TEP would buy power from the new facility for up to 20 years – more than doubling its current wind capacity of about 80 MW.
“Although we’ll primarily rely on solar energy to expand our renewable energy resources, the addition of new, cost-effective, wind-powered resources would help to ensure reliability for our customers, while further diversifying our renewable generation portfolio,” Tilghman adds.
In the RFP, TEP states it is looking for projects that can tie into the company’s transmission facilities located in the Four Corners region and along the Arizona/New Mexico border from geographic areas with productive wind resources.
Both RFPs are being managed by New Hampshire-based Accion Group.