Through creative business models and approaches, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) earned the sixth-highest ranking in the nation for per-capita additions to its solar energy portfolio in 2010. The ranking by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) reflects the solar power systems that TEP expanded last year, as well as the photovoltaic arrays that the company added to local homes and businesses. TEP, which provides safe, reliable service to more than 402,000 customers in the Tucson metropolitan area, now has nearly 25 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity—enough to power more than 6,000 Tucson homes.
In 2010, TEP added 29.7 watts of solar generating capacity per customer. That figure ranked just behind the per-capita capacity added by Pacific Gas & Electric, the large California utility that ranks as the top solar power producer in the nation. Silicon Valley Power, a municipal utility serving just under 52,000 customers, topped SEPA's per-capita rankings for 2010 with 39.9 watts per customer.
TEP plans to add nearly 200 MW of solar generating capacity to its system by the end of 2014. Those additions will include 28 MW of company-owned solar arrays, up to 125 MW in combined capacity from privately developed projects, and an estimated 44 MW from new systems installed at customers' homes and businesses.
The output of those systems will help TEP satisfy Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard, which requires electric utilities to increase their use of renewable power each year until it represents 15 percent of their power in 2025.
To learn more, visit www.tep.com. For more information about parent company UniSource Energy, please visit www.uns.com.