Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will seek new wind and solar generation, energy storage systems and other resources such as energy efficiency with an All-Source Request for Proposals (ASRFP) it plans to issue on Tuesday, April 19. The due date for proposals is expected to be July 1, 2022.
The ASRFP will target resources to support TEP’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which calls for TEP to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent and to supply more than 70 percent of its energy to retail customers from renewable resources by 2035. It calls for building an increasingly sustainable resource portfolio by retiring coal-fired power plants and replacing them with a significant expansion of renewable resources and energy storage systems, backed by existing and efficient natural gas-fired generators.
In 2021, TEP added 449 megawatts (MW) of new wind and solar resources, allowing the company to provide about 30 percent of its power from renewable resources.
“We're now looking for ways to add even more reliable, cost-effective resources as we build a cleaner, greener grid for our community,” said Susan Gray, TEP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re especially interested in resources that are consistently available during the late afternoon and early evening hours of summer, when customers' energy needs are greatest.”
In its request, TEP will seek bids for all resource types, including:
- Up to 250 MW of renewable and energy efficiency resources. This could include new wind and solar generating systems and new energy efficiency initiatives, including demand response programs that reduce usage during periods of high energy demand.
- Up to 300 MW of "firm capacity" resources that can be called on at any time, including energy storage systems designed to provide at least four hours of continuous energy every day during the summer for TEP to dispatch as needed. This also could include demand response programs that provide incentives to customers who curtail energy usage at specific times of the day and year when usage is typically highest.
- Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors interested in offering energy storage proposals for TEP’s build-ready site in Tucson must attend a site visit scheduled for April 28, 2022. EPC contractors must visit the ASRFP website below for additional information on the site visit.
TEP will review proposals this summer and announce successful proposals near the end of this year. TEP is seeking resources that will commence service as soon as May 1, 2024 but no later than May 1, 2025. Projects with combined technologies are eligible for consideration.
The ASRFP process is being supported by 1898 & Co., with independent monitoring services provided by Sargent & Lundy.
TEP customers’ energy needs are growing, with new peak energy demand records set in both 2020 and 2021. TEP is working to meet those needs with an increasingly clean energy resource mix that set a new record last month for renewable energy production.
In February 2022, the Arizona Corporation Commission reviewed and acknowledged TEP’s 2020 IRP, noting its use of ASRFPs to secure future resources and providing guidance on development of future resource plans. TEP’s 2020 IRP describes TEP’s plan for avoiding the production of more than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next 15 years – equivalent to removing three-quarters of a million cars from the road. It also describes how TEP will eliminate the use of surface water for power generation and achieve a 70 percent reduction in groundwater use. It also describes TEP’s plan to gradually retire its remaining coal-fired power plants over the next 10 years.