Wilmot Energy Center
Solar, Battery Storage | Tucson
The Wilmot Energy Center in southeast Tucson will help TEP deliver more solar energy than ever before – including when the sun isn’t shining.
The site includes a 100-megawatt (MW) solar array and 30-MW battery energy storage system – each the largest of their kind on TEP’s local energy grid. Together, they’re a big part of our plan to build a cleaner, greener grid for our community.
The batteries will be charged by 314,000 solar panels that can track the movement of the sun for increased production. On most days, we’ll charge the battery in the morning and early afternoon when solar resources are most productive, then deliver stored energy during peak usage periods.
Battery storage is critical to a clean energy future because it helps utilities provide reliable service with growing levels of wind and solar resources. Storage can help smooth out imbalances when clouds block the sun or wind patterns shift. They also can store clean energy for periods when customers need it most.
The Wilmot Energy Center supports TEP’s plan to provide more than 70 percent of its power from renewable resources and reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2035. These changes, outlined in TEP’s latest Integrated Resource Plan, will avoid the production of more than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide over 15 years – equivalent to taking three-quarters of a million cars off the road.
Wilmot Energy Center is one of three large wind and solar projects TEP will complete in 2021. The 250-MW Oso Grande Wind farm in southeast New Mexico, our largest renewable resource producing clean energy for Southern Arizona, will generate enough power each year to serve the annual electric needs of nearly 100,000 homes. The 99-MW Borderlands Wind Project, located about 100 miles south of Gallup, New Mexico, is expected to be in service by the end of 2021.
A portion of the clean energy produced by Oso Grande and the Wilmot Energy Center will power the University of Arizona’s Tucson campus, making it the largest research university in the country to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its purchased energy.
TEP will purchase power from the WEC under a long-term agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, its owner and operator.