Sustainable Goals Growing
Salt River Project ups the ante
A municipal power system’s sustainability goals were increased and accelerated recently, even while some states are softening their green energy stances. And a new contract in Arizona seemed to emphasize the point.
The Salt River Project Board of Directors raised SRP’s sustainable portfolio goals and approves revisions to the Sustainable Portfolio Principles. The Sustainable Portfolio Principles, which were established in 2004 and revised in 2006, direct SRP’s acquisition and use of renewable-energy resources as well as efforts towards energy efficiency.
A new goal of 20 percent of SRP’s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020 replaces the former target of 15 percent by 2025. The move is possible because of its successful programs. SRP is already ahead of schedule – providing about 7 percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources, including renewable energy, hydro power, conservation, efficiency and pricing measures.
Also included in the proposal:
• SRP will meet 9 percent of its retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources in Fiscal Year 2012.
• Management was given the authorization to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which may account for up to 25 percent of the sustainable portfolio. SRP will be allowed to purchase RECs from sources throughout the United States and within the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
• SRP will work with municipalities to help accelerate the implementation of more robust building energy codes for new construction and major remodels.
• SRP will continue to partner with universities, local businesses and economic development organizations to encourage development of renewable resources within Arizona and expand the use of renewable technologies.
The vote was based on input from shareholders, with an overarching objective of managing emissions using sustainable means at the lowest cost to SRP customers.
“The goal of the Sustainable Portfolio is to provide direction on future investments in renewable energy and energy-efficient programs in a way that takes into consideration both innovation and cost,” said Debbie Kimberly, Manager of Energy Efficiency and Policy Analysis. “Today, the Board approved a plan that increased our goal while accelerating the timeline. It’s robust and ambitious, while at the same time it will be implemented in the most cost-effective manner possible for our customers.”
SRP also signed an agreement to purchase 100 percent of the electricity generated from the newest wind energy farm planned for Arizona. The Yavapai Wind Project, being built by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, will be located about 25 miles south of Seligman and Interstate 40 in Yavapai County.
The 25-year contract calls for the delivery of 99.2 megawatts of energy to SRP by Dec. 31, 2012, pending the necessary approvals. SRP also has the option to purchase at a later date approximately 20 megawatts of solar energy from a planned photovoltaic facility that could be built near the project's wind turbines.
An official said the project is a step in meeting the new standard of more clean energy. And with the output of the existing Dry Lake Wind Farm near Snowflake, the Yavapai Wind project will bring SRP's purchase of Arizona-based wind energy to almost 225 megawatts, the most by any utility in Arizona.
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