Extra Illuminations

Renewables on the Rise

TEP’s use of renewable energy resources has kept ahead of the annual goals established by Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES).

The rules, which were approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in 2006, require utilities to increase their use of renewable energy resources each year until they represent 15 percent of their retail energy sales in 2025. The annual RES goal is 5 percent for 2015 and will increase one percent each year until 2025. TEP's progress is tracked annually through year-end reports filed with the ACC.

For 2014, TEP exceeded the 4.5 percent annual goal with more than 500,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable power production. That's enough energy to power over 50,000 homes. This total includes energy produced at TEP facilities and acquired through long-term power purchase agreements as well as the output of customer-sited distributed generation (DG) systems.

* Production associated with market purchase of electricity from biogas

It should come as no surprise that solar power is TEP's primary renewable energy resource. But TEP also makes significant use of wind power as well as biogas resources. TEP relies on methane captured at the City of Tucson's Los Reales landfill and has previously purchased renewable energy credits from other biogas resources.

The use of renewable resources has allowed TEP to reduce regulated emissions from fossil-fueled power plants and avoid the production of nearly a half-million tons of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas.