Reliable. Resilient. Ready.
Tucson Electric Power is a national leader in service reliability. We’re working around the clock to operate, maintain and improve our facilities and are ready to respond immediately to any interruption in service. As we build a cleaner, greener grid, with more wind and solar power than ever before, we’re also working to make our system stronger, more secure and even more reliable.
TEP ranks in the top quartile of all electric utilities across the country for service reliability. Our most recent scores reflect 99.99% reliability – and we’re committed to doing even better.
TEP tracks the average duration of outages attributed to maintenance, equipment failure, weather and other factors with a metric called the System Average Interruption Duration Index, or SAIDI. After posting a SAIDI of 65 minutes in 2017, the company improved its scores in 2018 and 2019 to 51 and 54 minutes, respectively.
Thirty-four percent of our customers didn’t experience any power outages in 2020. Of those who did, their interruptions averaged 73 minutes – just more than one hour out of the 8,760 hours in a year.
Several key prevention programs are helping us achieve those remarkable results.
Visual inspections of our local energy grid help us identify potential problems before they can cause outages. Patrollers who evaluate every one of the 109,000 poles in the distribution system have identified about 270 priority repairs over the past two years. This proactive approach helps ensure our equipment is in top condition so we can continue to minimize service disruptions.
In addition to inspections, we conduct comprehensive evaluations of outage trends to identify potential investment needs. We’ve also accelerated our replacement of wood poles with sturdier steel poles.
TEP maintains a massive modern electrical grid that spans 1,155 square miles and includes approximately 5,100 miles of transmission and distribution lines, more than 4,300 cable-miles of underground distribution lines and more than 100 substations.
It’s a complex system that requires ongoing maintenance and upgrades.
The level of our commitment to providing customers with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy is reflected in the investments we make so we can continue to provide industry-leading reliability.
In 2020, TEP invested:
Our skilled, highly trained workforce ensures that TEP can maintain safe, reliable and affordable service as we transition to a cleaner, greener grid. Here's how:
Critical employees receive extensive training before becoming qualified to build and maintain our facilities.
- During a typical year, hundreds of our Transmission and Distribution (T&D) team employees spend more than 13,500 hours in nearly 40 unique training courses.
- Power production employees participate in continual training to learn about new thermal resources like modern reciprocating internal combustion engines and new renewable systems like the Oso Grande Wind Farm in southeastern New Mexico.
- Depending on their positions, employees also are required to maintain a variety of certifications for CPR and first aid, commercial driver’s license and other state transportation endorsements, heavy equipment operation, environmental safety and resource conservation.
Preparation for emergencies
Power production and system control employees are on the job 24/7, monitoring customer usage, weather and the performance of our local energy grid to ensure the delivery of safe, reliable service to customers. Employees also regularly participate in emergency response and continuity training exercises as well as threat recognition training.
Development of a skilled, qualified workforce
Our apprenticeship positions include:
- A 4-year state-certified training program
- 8,000 on-the-job training hours, including task-signoffs before becoming qualified to do specific jobs
- 640 hours of classroom training
- Sufficient scores on 8 major exams throughout the program
TEP fosters an equitable, respectful and inclusive workplace, with programs designed to support the health and wellness of our employees.
Superior training facilities and programs
At the Ken Saville Training Center, located on at TEP’s Irvington Campus, employees receive hands-on-training in a controlled environment, allowing them to put theory into practice while demonstrating new skills mastery. TEP also collaborates with Pima Community College to facilitate classes for candidates seeking to enter the energy industry.