Coal loses out to solar, wind and storage in Arizona utility plan

Jun 30, 2020 04:09 PM ET
  • Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has actually set out plans to provide 70% of its power from solar and wind by 2035, backed up with financial investment in brand-new energy storage ability.
Coal loses out to solar, wind and storage in Arizona utility plan
Image: TEP

The utility last week filed its integrated resource plan (IRP) with the state regulator, outlining plans for 2.5 GW of brand-new solar as well as wind over the next 15 years and 1.4 GW of energy storage ability as it considerably shutters its coal power stations.

The utility said that due to ecological worries and the availability of progressively low-priced renewable resource as well as storage systems it was aiming to retire all its coal generation fleet and also decrease carbon exhausts throughout its profile by 80% by 2035.

" We're increasing our transition to cleaner energy sources with an affordable plan that supports trustworthy as well as budget friendly solution from significantly lasting sources," TEP president David Hutchens stated. "We'll be decreasing carbon exhausts at a pace that places us at the forefront of worldwide initiatives to battle environment change."

In addition to currently revealed closures of coal-fired plants, TEP stated it would retire 2 further devices amounting to nearly 800MW by 2032; by 2035 the utility will certainly have dumped over 1GW of coal capacity.

Rather, the utility will certainly focus its financial investment on renewables, storage and also some all-natural gas-fired generation.

By 2035, TEP's plan information the enhancement of a little over 1.7 GW of new solar and also 846MW of wind. Additionally, the utility is also planning to mount 1.4 GW of energy storage by 2035 in addition to 50MW of battery energy storage already in service or contracted today.

Much of this financial investment is backloaded to the later stages of the plan duration, with two-thirds of the expected storage ability going into operation after 2030 when the steepest decreases in storage expenses are anticipated.

" Maintaining trusted service with higher levels of wind as well as solar power requires receptive, efficient gas resources along with storage, which is projected to end up being a lot more cost effective over the following years," said Hutchens. "Our plan is developed to capitalise on those cost reductions to attain ambitious carbon emission decreases without endangering on cost-effectiveness or price."

The sped up retirement of coal-fired nuclear power plant in favour of renewables and storage has been a defining motif of the variety of IRPs announced by US utilities in current months. Especially, last October, PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of financier Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Energy, unveiled plans to include over 6GW of solar as well as almost 3GW of energy storage by 2038. By the exact same time, the utility prepares to get rid of practically 4.5 GW of coal portfolio from procedure.

This has been additionally sustained by utilities in Indiana, Virginia and California to have included solar and also power storage in IRPs this year.

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