Tuscon Electric Power and UniSource seek proposals for new energy resources

Published on January 22, 2024 by Chris Galford

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Seeking support for their integrated resource plans (IRPs), Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services recently published a joint all-source request for proposals (ASRFP) of new energy resources to enter service no later than May 2027. 

“We’re looking for opportunities to add reliable, cost-effective resources to satisfy the growing energy needs in communities we serve,” said Susan Gray, president and CEO of Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy Corporation. “As in our previous ASRFP, we’re particularly interested in resources that can provide service during the late afternoon and early evening hours of summer, when our customers typically use the most energy.”

Bids are open for all resource types, including up to 625 megawatts (MW) of renewable and energy efficiency resources and up to 825 MW of firm capacity resources, such as energy storage systems or demand response programs. The companies seek submissions by March 8, so they can review them before summer and make their selections during the fall. 

In the IRPs they filed last year, the companies detailed plans for meeting energy and reliability needs over the next 15 years. TEP expects to add 2,240 MW of wind and solar generation and another 1,330 MW of energy storage by 2038, as well as 400 MW of natural gas turbines to offset coal plant retirements. The company has a goal to reduce CO2 emissions 80 percent by 2035. 

Meanwhile, UniSource – which currently presides over approximately 300 MW of generating capacity – plans to more than double its electric resources over the same time period with deployments of 350 MW of solar and wind resources, 200 MW of natural gas turbines and 225 MW of energy storage systems. 

While both companies would like to see proposed projects capable of entering service as early as May 1, 2026, they will consider those that could commence service by May 1, 2027.