Arizona utility doubles its 2025 solar commitment


Salt River Project said plans to more than double its 2025 utility-scale solar commitment to add 2,025 MW of new utility-scale solar energy to its power system by the end of its 2025 fiscal year.

The new goal is more than 1,000 MW beyond SRP’s original 2025 commitment of 1,000 MW, announced in November 2018.

As part of the increase, 450 MW is coming from a single commercial customer to meet its renewable energy commitments. All the renewable energy purchased is expected to be from solar energy developments built in Arizona or on the Navajo Nation, and will  be used by SRP commercial and residential customers.

sPower’s 45 MW Sandstone solar project for SRP.

Image: Salt River Project

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metro area’s largest water supplier, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban, and agricultural water users.

SRP currently has 648 MW of utility-scale solar plants online or contracted and under development across Arizona. It said it will add more than 1,375 MW of newly contracted solar power by 2025.

Solar additions

SRP recently contracted for the output from the Sonoran Energy Center, which will be one of the largest solar-charged battery projects in Arizona. The utility also contracted for a large-scale solar and battery storage project at Pinal Central Solar Energy Center, and is bringing online a new grid-charged battery storage project at Agua Fria Generating Station.

SRP said it is examining programs to allocate the new solar capacity to various customer groups, including community solar for residential customers.

SRP’s latest solar developments came online in December 2020 and include the 100 MW East Line Solar and the 100 MW Saint Solar. The two utility-scale solar fields serve commercial, municipal, and educational customers who participate in SRP’s Sustainable Energy Offering.

East Line Solar was built by developer sPower and solely serves Intel Corp. with 100 MW of solar energy. Saint Solar was built by developer NextEra.

Another solar plant that is part of SRP’s Sustainable Energy Offering is Central Line Solar, a 100 MW solar field to be built by  sPower. It will serve 21 SRP customers when it enters service in December.

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