Arizona Public Service plans 40-MW solar project to serve university

Arizona Public Service applied Nov. 18 at the Arizona Corporation Commission for approval of an agreement with Arizona State University that would allow the construction of a 40-MW solar project.

The utility is asking for approval of an Addendum to the APS-ASU Electric Service Agreements. The Addendum recognizes ASU’s interest in a greater renewable resource commitment through provisions that allow ASU to purchase additional amounts of renewable energy to enhance the overall resource profile that it receives from APS. Under it, APS intends to develop and construct a new 40-MW solar photovoltaic generating asset to be located at the site of its existing Saguaro Power Plant.

APS will own, operate and maintain the asset, which will be procured through a competitive process and constructed by a third-party solar company. ASU in turn will be purchasing a quantity of renewable energy and associated environmental attributes from APS equivalent to a portion of the solar assets. eBay Inc. will purchase the balance under a previously-approved special contract.

While APS intends to include the new solar asset in its post test-year plant adjustment in its upcoming rate case, ASU and eBay will cover the additional cost of the renewable energy over the life of the asset under the terms of both customer specific agreements. This approach encourages a greater use of renewable energy on the APS system without increasing the cost to other APS customers, the utility said.

This Addendum is for load retention and for the development of new renewable resources and does not prevent ASU from accessing a competitive retail market if such market should develdp in Arizona during the term of the Addendum, the utility said. Because of the expiration of the Investment Tax Credit in 2016, time is of the essence in the completion of the new solar resources at Saguaro and APS requested expedited review off this application.

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.