TEP issues RFP for solar, wind projects

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a 100 MW solar and a 100 MW wind project, to be built in its service area or connected to existing transmission lines.

For the solar project, TEP is looking for a developer to design and construct the project, but has said nothing about ownership. The utility is offering 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) for both projects, and would begin buying power from the solar facility in early 2019.

TEP says that it is working to deliver at least 30% of its power from renewable energy by 2030, which it notes is double the portion that Arizona is aiming for by 2025. For this the utility expects to add 800 MW of new renewables, bringing its portfolio to 1.2 GW.

“We’re working to provide more solar power for more customers for less money,” said Carmine Tilghman, Senior Director of Energy Supply and Renewable Energy. “This new solar facility will help us achieve our renewable energy goals while preserving safe, reliable and affordable service for our community.”

Like other utilities across the United States, TEP has a preference for utility-scale solar versus distributed generation (DG). In previous conversations with pv magazine Tilghman has cited both the higher cost of DG and the utility’s lack of visibility into the output of such systems as reasons for this inclination.