Arizona’s electric and natural gas utilities will soon issue a request to submit proposals for new renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency projects.
UniSource Energy Services stated that it plans to issue an All Source Request for Proposals by April 19, with a July 1 deadline.
The request for proposals will include up to 170MW of renewable and energy efficient resources. This could include solar and/or wind generating systems, new energy efficiency initiatives, and demand response programs.
UniSource stated that the utility is also looking to acquire up to 150 MWs of energy storage systems capable in dispatching at most four hours of electricity every day during summer. UniSource indicated that demand response initiatives could also be included in this category to help customers reduce peak load times.
UniSource set new peak energy demands records in 2020 and 2021. This highlights that there is a need for more generating capacity, energy efficiency and demand response programs to meet customer requirements.
Proposed projects could enter service as early as May 1, 2024 but not later than may 1, 2025. UniSource indicated that it would announce its winning proposals late in the year.
In the utility’s integrated resources plan, 50% of the energy to be provided to retail customers will come from renewable sources by 2030. In 2019, retail electricity sales were around 22% due to clean energy resources.
UniSource currently has around 142 MW of wind and solar resources in its community-scale portfolio.
UniSource is also required by the IRP to reduce its dependence on wholesale markets and increase its use of contracted or owned generating resources.
UniSource provides natural gas service to 165,000 customers in northern Arizona and southern Arizona as well as electric service for more than 100,000 customers within Santa Cruz and Mohave Counties. Fortis Inc. owns the utility and UNS Energy, its parent company.