Western Resource Advocates today welcomed Tucson Electric Power’s (TEP’s) announcement that it plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent and provide 70 percent of its electricity generation from renewable energy resources by 2035. The plan is the most aggressive commitment to reducing emissions by a utility in Arizona.
In TEP’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan filed today with the Arizona Corporation Commission, the utility said it would retire its two units at the coal-fired Springerville Generating Station in 2027 and 2032. The utility also outlined plans to add 2,457 megawatts of new wind and solar power systems, including 457 megawatts that will be coming online over the next year, and 1,400 megawatts of new energy storage systems. TEP also pledged to continue its support for energy efficiency programs.
“We are extremely pleased that Tucson Electric Power is committing to reducing its carbon emissions that drive climate change. Adding clean energy generation and storage while accelerating the retirement of coal units will ensure a healthier and better future for Arizonans,” said Autumn Johnson, energy policy analyst for Western Resource Advocates, in Phoenix. “Amid the current pandemic, Arizonans recognize now more than ever the need to reduce air and climate pollution. We hope that TEP will fulfill its plan to assist the affected coal communities with economic transition, as market forces drive greater adoption of clean energy.”
TEP’s plan calls for eventually eliminating its reliance on coal-fired power, as the San Juan Generating Station retires in 2022 and two units of the Four Corners Generating Station close in 2031. TEP said the coal-unit retirement timeline for Springerville would allow the utility to reduce the plant’s workforce through attrition rather than layoffs and work with the local community to help with the economic transition.