Renewables

Apache Solar

From left, AzGT’s Barry Brown and Mike Nelson tour Apache Solar with Chet and Jessica Wold, who like the fact that they’re getting renewable solar power from the project. The Wolds are members of Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative. AEPCO dedicated Apache Solar in 2017.

Apache Solar Project, located adjacent to Apache Generating Station, provides 20 megawatts of renewable power to our six Member cooperatives and to Electrical District No. 2,  a public power operation in Casa Grande, Arizona, and an AzGT customer.

Apache Solar Fast Facts:

  • 20 MW AC power generated
  • 77,053 panels
  • 320 watts produced by each panel
  • 134 acres of AEPCO property house the solar array
  • 9 2.5-MW inverters convert the DC power to AC
Apache Solar
In addition to the Apache Solar Project, we’re exploring transmitting wind energy from eastern New Mexico to Apache Station, and we’re analyzing battery technology to make solar and wind generation more cost-effective and reliable.

We worked with our Member in Anza, California, Anza Electric Cooperative, to complete SunAnza, a new 2-MW solar project that helps Anza EC meet California’s renewable energy standards.

Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services, Inc., a part of AzGT, serves the renewable-energy needs of AzGT Members and customers by providing a mechanism for maximizing solar and other renewable tax credits through cooperative lenders.

Hydropower

AzGT optimizes our Members’ hydropower allocations from the Hoover Dam. We bring in this low-cost power from the federal Western Area Power Administration on an aggregate basis, dispatching it to Members on an on-demand basis, and billing them according to use. We work with our scheduling and trading partner, ACES, to dispatch Hoover power hourly.

We also coordinate Hoover power with power from our Apache Solar Project. We have the flexibility to quickly cover loads when solar unit output changes rapidly due to cloud cover or other conditions.

Balancing Renewable Sources Leads to Efficiencies

  • 00:00 (Midnight): Natural gas and coal generation at Apache Station are dispatched around the clock.
  • 06:00 (6AM): The Apache Solar Project at Apache Station can generate up to 20 megawatts of energy, but only when the sun shines. Arizona is rated as the number two state for the amount of sunshine available— second only to Nevada—but solar generation is unpredictable.
  • 18:00 (6PM): Low-cost hydropower from Hoover Dam is generally available 24/7, but the allocation is limited. We work with ACES to use the resource when it has the most value—often when it complements solar generation or as a peaking resource to reduce costly power purchases.