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Greening up the grid with solar power

We know the importance of powering the grid of the future with clean, renewable energy from the sun.  

When it comes to solar, SRP has among the largest utility-scale solar commitments, supported by one of the largest near-term energy storage adoption plans. Whether you’re renting, passing through or an Arizona resident for life, we want you to feel good about where your power comes from and the price you pay for it. 

What is utility-scale solar?  

Utility-scale solar means solar energy is distributed to participating customers from large-scale solar generation facilities. This differs from customers generating their own solar via individual rooftop panels in a number of ways. 

The primary benefits of utility-scale solar are its ability to increase generation and allow multiple customers to receive power from the sun. Each solar panel in a utility-scale installation is able to produce more electricity through the use of tracking machines that point the panels at the sun as it moves through the sky. This is a significant advantage compared to panels fixed in place on rooftops. 

Advancing solar in the desert 

Harnessing and storing the power from the sun has many environmental benefits. This is apparent from the amount of large business customers entering into solar agreements through our Sustainable Energy Offering, and customer participation in programs like SRP Solar Choice™ and SRP Solar for Nonprofits

Here at SRP, one of the ways we are addressing the effects of climate change and achieving decarbonization is by implementing more solar. While great strides have been made to advance solar in Arizona, there’s also tremendous work yet to be done. 

That’s why we are taking major steps toward a cleaner and greener future. 

Goals for 2035

SRP is pursuing a portfolio of solar developments that will exceed its goal of adding 2,025 megawatts (MW) of clean solar energy to the grid by 2025.

West Line Solar 

Partnering with the AES Corporation, SRP launched a new solar plant, West Line Solar, which will bring in 100 MW of solar power. Meta received 50 MW of solar energy from this plant, leaving 50 MW of available renewable energy that SRP is offering to residential and small business customers as part of its new solar offerings.  

CO Bar Solar 

The solar plant northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona, CO Bar Solar, is scheduled to be operational in 2025. SRP is partnering with Clēnera, a developer of large-scale solar and storage projects. This will be SRP’s largest contracted solar facility, occupying up to 7,000 acres of land in Coconino County.  

CO Bar Solar will deliver a total of nearly 800 MW of renewable energy to SRP customers, enough to power 180,000 homes. According to Clēnera, this will offset more than 4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Eleven Mile Solar Center

The Eleven Mile Solar Center located in Pinal County, Arizona, will provide 300 MW of solar power plus a 300 MW four-hour battery storage system. Of the 300 MW, 200 MW of solar energy will be dedicated to Meta’s data center in Mesa, helping them meet their 100% renewable energy and net zero goals.

This will be SRP’s largest contracted solar and battery project. The battery at the Eleven Mile Solar Center will store enough energy to power more than 67,500 average-size homes. Orsted is currently constructing the Eleven Mile Solar Center and it is expected to be online by the summer of 2024.

Battery storage 

Have you ever wondered what happens to solar energy once it’s captured? Or what happens at nighttime or on a stormy day? While the sun provides an abundant source of clean energy, this energy needs to be immediately used or stored in large batteries.  

That’s where large-scale battery storage systems come into play.  

In 2022, we announced two new contracts to add more battery storage to our power system, which will bring our total battery storage to more than 1,100 MW by 2024. 

Sierra Estrella and Superstition 

SRP has contracted with Plus Power, who will be commissioning a battery storage system called Sierra Estrella in 2024. It will be a 250 MW four-hour battery storage system located in Avondale, Arizona. Plus Power is also commissioning a second storage system called Superstition, which will be a 90 MW four-hour battery storage system located in Gilbert. 

Battery storage systems like Sierra Estrella and Superstition will be great for SRP to utilize in its grid during peak energy demand periods, like early evenings, when renewable energy sources may not be available. 

Saint Battery

With the help of NextEra Energy Resources, a 100 MW battery will be added to the existing 100 MW solar plant, Saint Solar Energy Center, in Coolidge, Arizona.

“As part of our Integrated System Plan for 2035, SRP is building a better Arizona with innovative ways to give our customers reliable, affordable and sustainable power and water,” said Bobby Olsen, Chief Planning, Strategy and Sustainability Executive at SRP. “This solar-charged battery is a perfect example. It adds to SRP’s diverse portfolio of storage technologies, which are among the most expansive and innovative in the West, while ensuring we get the most value from our clean energy investments.”

Adding more clean energy to the grid  

In order to meet our aggressive carbon reduction goals, we made the historic decision to shut down Navajo Generating Station. While the closure of our largest coal plant was being planned, a new partnership with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority was underway. 

Learn more about the Kayenta Solar generation facility

Reduce your carbon footprint 

In addition to these efforts, our customers can help support the advancement of solar and expansion of utility-scale facilities all while offsetting their energy use by 50%–100% through SRP Solar Choice. 

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