Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has unveiled a 15-year plan to reduce its coal generation capacity by about one-third, acquire new natural gas-fired resources, and continue its expansion of renewable power and energy efficiency programs.
TEP's plans are outlined in its 2014 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) the company filed with the Arizona Corp. Commission on April 1. The IRP describes how TEP plans to meet energy demand requirements through 2028, providing reasonably priced service to customers while satisfying regulatory requirements and improving the environment.
According to current projections, the company expects to add more than 50,000 customers over the next 10 years. Peak demand is projected to grow annually by about 1% – 1.5%.
TEP says the IRP describes a long-term portfolio diversification strategy that will reduce the company's reliance on coal-fired generation. The company plans to reduce its overall coal capacity by 492 MW – about 32% – over the next five years.
TEP plans to diversify its portfolio through continued investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. By 2028, TEP anticipates that its combined solar, wind and biogas resource capacity will increase from 157 MW today to 788 MW. To replace some of the lost capacity from existing coal-fired resources, TEP and sister company UniSource Energy Services are planning a joint purchase of a 550 MW combined-cycle unit at the natural gas-fired Gila River Power Station in Gila Bend, Ariz.
TEP also plans to reduce its need for new generating resources through a range of energy-efficiency programs that it projects will result in a cumulative capacity reduction of 312 MW.
By 2028, TEP projects that its resource portfolio will consist of 43% coal-fired generation and 36% natural gas-fired resources. The remaining 21% will be made up of renewable energy resources and energy efficiency measures.
For more information about TEP's 2014 Integrated Resource Plan, click here.