SRP OKs clean-power agreement

Solar power plant aims to reduce carbon footprint

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A structure originally conceived by Tempe-based First Solar Inc. in east Mesa and now owned by Apple will give Salt River Project customers in Tempe and West Chandler a new way reducing the carbon footprint attributed to electric power, thanks to an agreement approved by SRP’s board of directors.

The board recently signed an agreement to purchase the energy produced from Apple’s new 50-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant.

SRP was part of an Arizona team that worked with Apple to locate in the East Valley in 2014, and later built an interconnection near the facility to help facilitate the construction of the Bonnybrooke PV solar plant. 

Apple has completed construction, and is finalizing the commissioning of a large-scale solar array, so that clean power can feed into SRP’s grid that supports Apple.

“SRP is committed to working with our customers like Apple to meet their energy needs with the accelerated development of renewable resources, such as solar and geothermal, without increasing costs to our other customers,” said SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bonsall. 

“This opportunity is not only economical, but a powerful demonstration of how SRP can be a catalyst for economic development in the Valley.”

By purchasing the output of the Bonnybrooke plant, SRP will reduce the carbon footprint of the fossil fuel resources that serve its more than 1 million customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

Terms of the 25-year Purchase Power Agreement support new renewable energy and development in Arizona, but do not impact other SRP ratepayers as the energy is purchased by SRP at a wholesale market rate. 

Apple will retain all of the environmental attributes generated from the solar plant.

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