Our latest solar project, Raptor Ridge is now energized, helping us work toward a future where the vast majority of our power will come from the wind and the sun.
Raptor Ridge and other large, community-scale renewable systems are part of a cleaner energy portfolio that are helping TEP work toward eliminating carbon emissions as soon as we can. Our large-scale wind and solar resources are producing enough energy to power about 260,000 homes in our community every year, helping advance our plans to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2035.
The array, which features more than 35,000 photovoltaic modules on Valencia Road east of Interstate 10, will produce enough power to meet the electricity needs of about 2,600 homes.
Here are five fun facts about our latest system:
We’re taking flight
Our collaboration with the University of Arizona to protect local raptors inspired our system’s name. We work with local wildlife experts to protect birds of prey from electrical hazards by installing insulating equipment on utility poles near known nesting sites, a practice that is standard on all new distribution projects.
We’re tracking the sun
Although some solar arrays are fixed to face south, Raptor Ridge’s solar panels operate on a single-axis east-west tracking system. The design allows the panels to follow the movement of the sun throughout the day for increased production, especially in the afternoon hours when customers’ energy needs peak. To demonstrate how it works, the site will feature an interactive display, allowing visitors to optimize solar energy production by adjusting the angle of a small, metered solar array.
We’re reflecting best practice
Through an innovative design new to TEP’s clean energy portfolio, Raptor Ridge features bi-facial solar modules that capture solar energy reflected off the ground onto the back of each panel, increasing energy production by up to 30 percent.
We’re helping you charge up and keep your cool
Our site features electric vehicle charging, as well as solar panel-covered parking.
We’re advancing solar equity
Not everyone can install their own rooftop solar array. That’s why we built this solar array for the community, generating power for homeowners and renters who want a flexible, affordable supply of clean energy without a rooftop system. The power for our GoSolar Home program is generated right here, helping our community work toward a cleaner energy future together. Learn more about our GoSolar projects.
Watch a video of our virtual ribbon cutting.