Coal Community Transition
As we transition to cleaner, less carbon-intensive resources, Tucson Electric Power also is committed to providing appropriate support for communities that will be affected by upcoming coal plant retirements.
Our latest Integrated Resource Plan, developed in consultation with a broad group of stakeholders, anticipates retiring Units 1 and 2 at the coal-fired Springerville Generating Station (SGS) in 2027 and 2032 respectively.
Those closures will help us reduce TEP’s carbon emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2035, a target calculated to represent our fair share of worldwide efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Other contributing factors include cost, fuel availability and water usage.
SGS and the efforts of employees there are critical components of TEP's plan to continue providing affordable, reliable energy for our customers through the planned closures as we work toward developing new resources and adding replacement generation capacity. Click here for more information on our Integrated Resource Plan.
TEP is taking steps to help surrounding communities prepare for the retirements of our SGS units. TEP has had more limited engagement at other coal fired power plants where TEP has an ownership stake, including the Four Corners Power Plant and the retired San Juan and Navajo Generating Stations.
Just as we are preparing our employees for future opportunities through training and education, we’re also helping their communities develop sustainable and strategic economies for their long-term viability. TEP has been an active participant in stakeholder workgroups soliciting feedback on community needs.
In 2022, TEP and SRP each committed $300,000 in matching contributions to help secure an Arizona Broadband Development grant for Apache County that will benefit rural communities in the Northeastern Arizona region. We also have joined SRP in jointly funding economic impact studies and an effort to engage local communities in drafting a strategic plan to guide future funding requests and development strategies.
Utilities Grant Program
We heard from communities that they would appreciate assistance, such as funding for grant writers, economic impact studies or workforce development, to better leverage opportunities to secure infrastructure grants.
TEP has joined Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP) in developing the Utilities Grant Program to provide funding assistance to communities impacted by coal plant closures. The total amount of the joint funding available for distribution is $1 million.
Applications may be filed on behalf of impacted communities within 50 miles of a closed or closing coal generation facility owned by one of the three partnering utilities. Each application may be awarded a maximum of $25,000, evaluated on a case by case basis.