Tucson is slowly becoming a solar powered city |
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The City of Tucson has added seven new solar photovoltaic sites throughout the downtown area. These new 2.3 megawatt DC rooftop and carport systems were developed by SPG Solar and connected by Tucson Electric Power, they will provide $6.2 million in net revenues over the next 25 years.
“This largest City solar project was made possible with low-interest Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, Tucson Electric Power’s renewable energy credits and made easy by SPG Solar’s experience and range of solar services,” said Doug Crockett, City of Tucson Energy Manager. “We’ve basically initiated a municipal-owned solar utility which will generate net revenues to fund future energy efficiency and deferred maintenance projects on city facilities.”
This project also showed Tucson’s commitment to ‘going green’ by providing the community with up to 60 green jobs during time of construction, two student internships, and clean renewable energy. These latest projects are piggybacked onto the City’s first phase of solar, which was 1 MW and included both rooftop and single axis tracking systems – also developed by SPG Solar in 2009.
These new solar power locations are TCC, Miller-Golf Links Library, Patrick K. Hardesty Multi-Service Center, Randolph Center, Tucson Police Crime Lab, and two locations at the Thomas O. Price Service Center.
The solar energy generated at each site will offset, on average, 55 percent of the electricity used at each location.
“The City of Tucson has become a committed, long-term solar partner,” said SPG Solar CEO Chris Robine. “They presented us with a challenge to maximize the amount of solar electricity the City could generate; so we capitalized on our years of experience to design, engineer, build and maintain a set of solar power system that will deliver the best return on investment.”
Tucson Electric is also providing some financial incentives to the City, through their customer-funded large commercial solar program, which will also help offset installation costs. Output from these solar cells will also help TEP to work toward a renewable energy goal that was set by the Arizona Corporation Commission. This 2.3 MW system will produce almost 4 million kilowatt hours in its first year alone. This is equivalent to powering, on average, 350 American homes, every year.
“We’re very pleased to be working with the City of Tucson and SPG Solar on these systems, which will produce clean, green energy for city facilities using one of Arizona’s greatest natural resources – sunshine,” said Carmine Tilghman, TEP’s Director of Renewable Resources. “We expect to dramatically expand our solar generating capacity to more than 200 MW by the end of 2014 through a combination of company-owned resources, privately developed projects and distributed generating systems like the ones installed by the City of Tucson.”