AzGT Celebrates A Decade of Innovation at Annual Meeting

The electric generation and transmission cooperative has pursued innovation since it began serving Members 60 years ago

For Immediate Release
October 8, 2021

Contacts: Geoff Oldfather, (520) 586-5465, C: (520) 444-3473, goldfather@azgt.coop
J.D. Wallace, (520) 586-5157, C: (520) 235-4203, jdwallace@azgt.coop

BENSON – Arizona G&T Cooperatives (AzGT) celebrated A Decade of Innovation at its annual meeting October 8 at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum west of Tucson.

“At Arizona G&T Cooperatives, we are energized by innovation,” said Patrick Ledger, CEO of AzGT. “Since we first began generating and transmitting energy under the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) banner in 1961, 60 years ago, the pursuit of innovation has driven our progress.

“This has been especially true over the past decade, as we’ve embraced groundbreaking solutions to deploy new technologies, upgrade our operations, diversify our energy resources, build a smarter grid, strengthen our security and solidify our financial strength,” he added. “It was a decade in which we transformed our company and laid the foundation for sustainable success.”

The numbers tell the story about AzGT’s success over the past decade:

  • 547 MW market access capacity in 2021 (228 MW in 2012)
  • 866 miles of transmission line in 2021 (620 in 2012)
  • 36 substations in 2021 (26 in 2012)
  • 6% AEPCO combined equity in 2020 (21.9% in 2010)
  • $8 million in patronage refunds returned to Members from 2012 to 2021
  • $356,020 in donations to charities and community organization from 2012 to 2021

AzGT provides wholesale power and other services to its electric distribution cooperative Members and other customers. Representatives from these Members and customers attended the annual meeting, which included tours of the cooperative’s control room at Benson and Apache Generating Station near Cochise.

“Our commitment to finding new and better ways to deliver reliable, affordable energy to our Members and the customers at the end of the line will continue to light our way to progress—year after year and decade after decade,” Ledger said.

Learn more about AzGT’s Decade of Innovation.

About Arizona G&T Cooperatives

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) and Sierra Southwest (Sierra) together comprise the Arizona G&T Cooperatives (www.azgt.coop). AEPCO owns and operates the 625-megawatt (combined gross) Apache Generating Station, located at Cochise, east of Benson. AEPCO also owns, operates and maintains 866 miles of electric power transmission line—including line owned in part with other utilities—and 36 substations to provide wholesale electric power from Apache to six Member distribution cooperatives in southern Arizona, western New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and California.

Sierra is the vehicle to develop new ways to serve the renewable energy needs of AzGT Member cooperatives and customers, and helps maximize solar and other renewable tax credits. Sierra has initiated two utility-scale solar projects; the 20 MW Apache Solar project on AEPCO property adjacent to and northeast of Apache Generating Station, and SunAnza Phase I, a 2 MW solar array, as well as SunAnza Phase II, which includes an additional 1.4 MW solar array and a battery storage system, all of which is on property owned by the cooperative adjacent to its headquarters in Anza, California.

Combined, the distribution cooperatives that receive AEPCO’s wholesale power serve more than 161,000 meters representing more than 420,000 individual residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial member/consumers.

The Class A Member cooperatives that receive wholesale power from AEPCO include Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative, Duncan; Graham County Electric Cooperative, Pima; Mohave Electric Cooperative, Bullhead City; Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Willcox; Trico Electric Cooperative, Marana; and a California member, Anza Electric Cooperative, Anza.

These Member cooperatives own AzGT and, by extension, AzGT’s Member distribution cooperatives are owned by their members—the people at the end of the line who use the power.

AEPCO also serves five Class D energy services Members which are scheduling and trading customers and which include the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, Phoenix, AZ; Lincoln County Power District #1, Pioche, NV; Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Southwest Public Power Agency, Maricopa, AZ; and Valley Electric Association, Pahrump, NV.

AEPCO is also a Member/owner of ACES, a nationwide energy management company that helps its Members and customers buy, sell, and manage energy more efficiently and with less risk. The AEPCO/AzGT Benson campus hosts the ACES West Regional Trading Center (WRTC), which benefits AEPCO/AzGT Members and customers.