Tucson Electric Power is proud to support the University of Arizona’s plan to provide 100 percent clean energy to its Tucson campus by the end of 2020.
TEP will dedicate portions of new wind and solar energy projects to serving the UA’s energy needs. If the agreement is approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, the UA will be the largest research university in the country with a plan to offset all of its scope two emissions – greenhouse gases produced from the generation of energy purchased from a utility provider.
“We made a commitment to become a more sustainable campus, and now we have in place a system that will make a significant impact in just two years,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins, who made sustainability a key initiative in the recently announced strategic plan.
“I believe it is up to higher education institutions to lead the way on clean energy solutions. This university is already a leader in environmental and sustainability research, and we found a partner in TEP that shares our commitment to make effectual change. We have a forward-looking team to make these changes a rapid reality.”
TEP President and CEO David G. Hutchens, a UA graduate, said the agreement strengthens a longtime partnership between two important local institutions.
“We’re proud to support the ambitious renewable energy goals of President Robbins and the University of Arizona, which are consistent with our own aspirations,” Hutchens said. “We’re working together with our customers to build a sustainable energy future for our community.”
The agreement provides the university with affordable access to energy from two renewable systems for 20 years, beginning on the first day that both systems are operating.
The Wilmot Energy Center will include a 100-megawatt solar array and a 30-MW energy storage system, each the largest of their kind on TEP’s local energy grid. The system, which will include approximately 314,000 solar panels on 1,130 acres near South Swan Road and East Old Vail Connection Road, is expected to be online by December 2020.
The Oso Grande Wind Project will generate up to 247 MW for the university and other TEP customers. The project will include 61 highly efficient turbines at a site southeast of Roswell, New Mexico. The system also is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2020.
TEP expects to provide more than 28 percent of its power from renewable resources in 2021, nearly doubling the 2025 goal for the state of Arizona.
The agreement reflects TEP’s commitment to serve customers’ green energy needs and expands its partnership with the UA. TEP and the UA teamed with solar developers to build the Solar Zone at Tech Parks Arizona, collaborate on solar and storage research and are working together to develop a carbon reduction target for TEP’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan.