Solar Energy for Sale in Southern AZ
Beginning February 1, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customers will have a choice between purchasing fossil fuel or solar-based electrical power. According to the company’s press release, TEP plans to sell solar power created at their new 1.6-MW solar array that was built by the SOLON Corporation in the Solar Zone, part of the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park. TEP customers will be able to purchase 150-kWh ‘blocks’ of solar power; each block will add $3 to their monthly electricity bills. Customers will be able to purchase multiple blocks to power their entire home or business, or just a portion of it. However, only 1,600 blocks are currently available.
The Solar Zone array adds to TEP’s existing solar resources, the 6.4-MW solar system located at the Springerville Generating Station. But big plans are in the works to expand TEP’s solar energy portfolio even more with ten additional solar systems that will be built around the Tucson area. By the end of 2014, TEP hopes to be generating 160 MW of solar energy, enough to power 25,000 homes—about 6% of their 400,000 customers across Southern Arizona.