Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is seeking Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approval of a route for a transmission line that will provide critical support for electric reliability in central Tucson.

TEP’s Midtown Reliability Project will strengthen systems that serve nearly 37,000 homes and more than 6,800 businesses in central Tucson while supporting greater reliability throughout our local energy grid. The project will include a higher voltage overhead transmission line and other upgrades to replace aging substations and lower voltage equipment that can’t keep pace with customers’ growing energy needs.

TEP must secure a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) from the ACC before building the overhead transmission line. The company’s CEC application, filed today, will be reviewed by the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee in a public hearing scheduled to begin on Monday, July 8, 2024, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson – Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way. A special public comment session is scheduled to begin that day at 5:30 p.m.

Using input from midtown residents and other stakeholders, TEP developed 24 potential routes for the transmission line, including one designated as the preferred route in the CEC application. That route, identified as “B4,” connects the DeMoss-Petrie Substation near Interstate 10 and East Grant Road to the proposed Vine Substation near Banner – University Medical Center via Grant, North Park Avenue, East Adams Street and North Vine Avenue. The route connects the Vine Substation to the Kino Substation at South Kino Parkway and East 36th Street using Vine, Adams and Park before turning west on East Speedway Boulevard and then south on South Euclid Avenue. After crossing Barraza Aviation Highway, the route continues on South Toole Avenue, Euclid and 36th Street.

Detailed descriptions of the potential routes are included in the CEC application, which is available on the project website at tep.com/midtown-reliability-project. The site includes an interactive map that allows users to zoom in and out on route alternatives.

The Midtown Reliability Project will provide a more reliable looped transmission system that allows TEP to deliver service to customers from more than one direction, reducing the frequency and duration of outages. Upgraded systems will replace antiquated 46 kV sub-transmission and lower-voltage distribution systems that have served central Tucson for more than 50 years. With an upgraded 138 kV system, TEP estimates that up to eight 46 kV substations and up to 19 miles of overhead sub-transmission lines will be removed over 10 years.

TEP has systematically upgraded 46kV systems throughout its service territory to accommodate the increasing energy needs of a growing population with greater use of air conditioning, consumer electronics, rooftop solar systems and electric vehicles.

TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to about 447,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For more information visit fortisinc.com.

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