Tucson Electric approved for 20-year wind and solar purchases

The Arizona Corporation Commission voted July 17 to approve a renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) between Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Red Horse Wind 2 LLC.

The 20-year agreement, beginning in December 2014, grants TEP permission to purchase wind and solar energy, along with the associated renewable energy credits, from Red Horse Wind, the commission said in a July 17 statement. This PPA would allow TEP to obtain 51 MW of wind energy and 3 MW of solar energy, a majority of the output of the Red Horse Wind Facility.

This agreement will fulfill around 1.5% of the total 15% Renewal Energy Requirements outlined in the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff rules and provide ratepayers with a reasonably priced energy source, the commission said.

“Protecting ratepayers means procuring the cheapest and cleanest energy available,” said Chairman Bob Stump. “I commend Tucson Electric Power for pursuing this project.”

“TEP’s new project is a great opportunity for TEP customers to utilize renewable energy sources that are cost effective,” said Commissioner Susan Bitter Smith.

Tucson’s March 12 application for approval of this PPA said that the project will be located about 15 miles west of Wilcox in Cochise County. It will connect into the utility’s existing Winchester substation via a 7.5-mile radial generator lead line. The scheduled commercial operation date in the PPA is the later of April 1, 2015, or when the interconnection facilities are ready.

The total project, including largely wind and some solar, would be 71 MW in size. Mentioned in the PPA are example wind turbines for the facility, like the Vestas V100 and the GE 1.6-100. The point of contact for Red Horse Wind 2 is Torch Renewable Energy LLC.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.