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Notice of hearing for Saguaro to Marana Transmission Line Project

A public hearing will be held before the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee (“Committee”) regarding the Application of Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (“AEPCO”) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility to authorize construction of authorizing construction of a 115 kilovolt (“kV”) transmission line called the Saguaro to Marana 115/138 kV line (“Saguaro to Marana” or “the Project”).

The Project consists of two separate transmission line configurations. One portion of the Project is a double-circuit 115/138 kV transmission line to be jointly owned by AEPCO and Tucson Electric Power Company (“TEP”) (the 115 kV circuit will be owned and operated by AEPCO, and the 138 kV circuit will be owned and operated by TEP); the other portion of the Project is a single-circuit transmission line owned and operated by AEPCO alone. The transmission line originates at Trico Electric Cooperative’s planned Adonis Substation.

The hearing will be held at the Northwest Fire Department Training Facility, located at 5125 West Camino de Fuego, Tucson. Arizona 85743. The hearing will begin on Monday, June 6, 2022, at 1 :00 p.m., and will continue on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. and will continue as necessary on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Thursday, June 9, 2022, and Friday, June 10, 2022, commencing at 9:00 a.m. on each day through the completion of the hearing. If any revisions to the hearing schedule are required, they will be noticed on the Project website at: , and on the Arizona Corporation Commission (“Commission”) website at:

Click here to read the full notice.

We are preparing for future growth by investing in our infrastructure

Trico is growing, along with many of the communities we serve. To keep up with that growth and maintain an excellent standard of reliability, we are investing in the facilities that deliver power to our Members’ homes and businesses.

I am happy to share with the membership that Trico will be investing almost $70,000,000 over the next four years to continue improving our electric infrastructure.

Our recently approved four-year construction work plan includes:

  1. Connecting 4,120 new homes and businesses.
  2. Increasing service capacity to many existing Members.
  3. Increasing the capacity of 49 miles of existing overhead and underground distribution lines.
  4. Constructing almost 34 miles of new lines between substations (this allows us to route power from different directions to reduce and limit outages).
  5. Replacing 440 older distribution poles.
  6. Replacing almost 15 miles of aging underground conductor.
  7. Installing one new substation delivery point (Adonis Substation, which will be north of Tangerine Road and east of I-10 in Marana) and rebuilding/upgrading two existing substations (Green Valley Substation and Marana Substation)
  8. Rebuilding 69 kV transmission lines.

Compared to the more than 900 electric cooperatives across the United States, we are proud that Trico is in the top 25% for offering strong reliable service. To maintain our high standard we make prudent, planned investments that benefit Members now and in the future.

To explain, in the electric distribution business, where many miles of poles, lines, and facilities are required, a cooperative like Trico must decide, do we pay now or do we pay later? It can be tempting to neglect or skimp on maintaining our lines and/or upgrading our system. That would save on short-term costs, but reliability would suffer. Members would have to hold their breath during bad weather or high winds, and costly repairs would be unplanned and likely more expensive when needed.

Don’t get me wrong, we know costs are important, and we work hard to keep down our costs and the amount of our monthly bills. The way to do that over the long run is with a steady and continuous preventative maintenance and investment approach where we annually address the needs of our system and prepare for projected growth.

Investing $70,000,000 over the next four years is an investment in our communities and a significant commitment to providing you the cost-effective energy you need, when you need it.

Making our community a better place

Trico employees have a lot of heart and over the holidays they showed it by collecting items for teens in need. Donations included backpacks, clothing, shoes, hygiene products, board games, Legos, sports equipment and puzzles. In addition to the gifts, employees raised more than $1,200 in cash and gift cards for Casa de los Niños.

“You made a big difference in the lives of kids and families who are in dire need,” said Kimberly Gutierrez, Development & Public Relations Coordinator. “Many children and their families face enormous struggles all year long but due to the COVID-19 pandemic these challenges have greatly intensified, and these families truly needed help now more than ever. Because of donors like you, children and families were able to celebrate the holidays with hope.”

We know our Members have big hearts too. More than 5,000 Members participate in Trico’s Operation Round Up program. Your contributions support the Trico Electric Charitable Trust, which awards grants to non-profit organizations providing critical services in southern Arizona.

Grants are awarded in May and December of each year. The proceeds are used to assist community organizations, schools, veteran’s groups, first responders, and food banks.

In 2021, Trico gave out $70,000 in POWER Grant funds, including $35,000 in grants to the organizations in the chart below in December.

Treasures 4 Teachers of Tucson received a $2,500 POWER Grant at the beginning of 2021, which was used to ensure that all teachers have the materials and the safety equipment they needed to get their schools back in session safely. Over 40 teachers from the Marana, Altar Valley, Vail and Sahuarita school districts received membership scholarships. Treasures 4 Teachers also used the grant to purchase fans in their warehouse and hire two part-time employees.

“It gets very hot in our warehouse in the summer as we only have a swamp cooler,” Director Adrienne Ledford said. “We purchased three more fans with the grant money. We are growing and because we have always been volunteer-run having someone reliable to help makes a big difference.”

Integrative Touch for Kids also received a $2,500 POWER Grant for its TeleFriend program, which provides Telehealth buddies for children with medical needs to have someone to spend time, play games and experience social interaction, during COVID-19.

“As a result of your contribution to our program, we were able to reach more kids in need and provide them with buddies to help break out of the isolation they live with at home or in the hospital,” said Tom Matteson, Philanthropy and Business Operations Manager. “Thank you so much, and we look forward to expanding these programs in 2022.”

How you can help

Trico’s POWER Grant Program is funded through Operation Round Up. For less than $1 per month, you can make a difference in your community. For example, let’s say your electric bill is $82.73. If you participate in Operation Round Up, your bill will be automatically rounded up to $83, with the extra 27 cents going to the Trico Electric Charitable Trust. The most you will donate is about $12 a year, and your donations are tax deductible.

Click here to sign up.

Members save over $4,000 with Co-op Connections

The Co-op Connections Card program was started in 2009 as a way to help local businesses while also saving our Members money. In 2021, Trico Members saved more than $4,000.

“Thank you, Trico, so much for having a discount card for Trico Members with discounts all over the Tucson and Marana areas,” Trico Member Jerry Owens said in an email. Jerry and his family have been Trico Members since 1976.

Never miss out on savings with the free mobile app, which is available in the Google Play and Apple app stores. Simply download the Co-op Connections app to your phone and create an account to access thousands of deals instantly.

Also, check out the website for deals on entertainment, hotels, restaurants and more.

Don’t pay full price for prescriptions. With Co‑op Connections, you can save 10% to 85% on most prescriptions at over 60,000 pharmacies. Since 2009, Trico Members have saved more than $235,000 on prescriptions. You can still use the plastic card at the pharmacy, but you also have the option to use the app on your smart phone as well. Simply click on the “Pharmacy Card” in the app and show your pharmacist the information. The card can also be printed from the website If you need a plastic card, email us at Include your name and mailing address.

Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS are just some of the participating pharmacies. Even if you have insurance, present both cards at the pharmacy to receive the lowest price. You can compare your prescription prices and see for yourself at

More ways to save

  • Dental: You’ll have a reason to smile brighter with savings up to 40%.
  • Vision: The savings become clear with up to 60% off on glasses, contacts, LASIK and exams.
  • Lab & Imaging: Access over 1,500 major clinical laboratories, where you can save up to 80%.
  • Local Deals: Experience savings on restaurants, golf, shopping, family fun, automotive and more.
  • Travel: The best deals on hotels, condos, flights, cruises, car rentals, and round-trip vacations.
  • Event Tickets: Save 10% on concerts, sporting events, and theater tickets.
  • Movie Tickets: Keep cash in your pocket, your favorite films are over 25% off.
  • Theme Parks: Save up to 50% of price of admission to incredible experiences.
  • Grocery Coupons: Printable Coupons for incredible savings on everyday purchases.
  • No-Cost Insurance: Insurance discounts, plus $5,000 AD&D Life Insurance at no cost to you!

Click here to learn more about the Co-op Connections Card.

Trico scholarship student has a passion for science

There are not many young women who spend their Saturdays out in the field or in the lab conducting research. Nadira Mitchell, a Trico Foundation scholarship recipient, has hiked into Sabino Canyon to collect data from wildlife cameras for her research project on human and animal interactions.

Nadira graduated with honors from Tucson High Magnet School in 2019. She is a junior at the University of Arizona majoring in Natural Resources/Wildlife Conservation with a goal of becoming a Wildlife Conservationist. She is also minoring in American Indian Studies.

Nadira said the Trico scholarship has allowed her to focus on school and research. “It has allowed me to have more time to do extracurricular activities and not worry about being in debt when I graduate,” she said.

One of those extracurricular activities is serving on the board of the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF).

“Science is my passion and I have participated in research programs to gain skills in developing posters and presenting,” Nadira said. “Such opportunities helped guide me to be a better leader, advocate, and scientist because it is important to give back to the community and make the world better for future generations.”

She was surprised when SARSEF asked her to be on the board.

“They wanted someone with youthful experience,” she said. “Since I was part of SARSEF and benefited from SARSEF, it made sense. It’s taught me a lot about how non‑profits work. I care about SARSEF because it gave me so many opportunities and I want to see it grow and continue to benefit students.”

While in high school, Nadira spent four years educating guests of the Arizona‑Sonora Desert Museum about the native flora and fauna as a Junior Docent.

“As a Navajo, my passion for wildlife began as a toddler,” she said. “I was always fascinated by nature and being in the outdoors. During the monsoon season, I would go and spend time out in my front yard collecting snails. I have never been afraid of spiders or snakes like other kids because I knew as long as I respected them, they would not harm me.”

Her research and volunteer experiences influenced her decision to study Natural Resources/Wildlife Conservation at the U of A.

“I strive to learn about the scientific aspects of wildlife conservation, continue my research on wildlife habitats, become a better advocate for endangered species, and eventually manage a wildlife refuge in native communities,” she said.

Nadira is one of four students selected for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the U of A. It’s a two-year program that gives students an opportunity to conduct their own research project focused on conservation. Nadira is researching how animals, specifically Javelina, navigate urban environments with differing levels of trash to inform land-use decisions and minimize human-wildlife conflict.

Nadira uses wildlife cameras and trash surveys to determine if trash levels decrease or increase the species richness and diversity of wildlife use of washes and residential areas.

“The consumption of human food and the packaging of waste can have adverse health effects on wildlife leading to death and a disruption in the natural food chain,” she said.

During her freshman year at the U of A, Nadira helped start the American Indian Student Initiatives, a club that focuses on environmental justice in Native American communities. Over spring break, the club partnered with the non-profit GRID Alternatives to build a solar panel system for a Navajo family.

“It was a cool opportunity to learn how solar works and how to build a solar panel system,” she said.

When the pandemic hit, the club had to get creative with their projects and outreach.

“We did four to five virtual seminars,” she said. “It gave people an opportunity to hear about issues such as the border barrier and how it is affecting the Tohono Oʼodham Nation.”

The club did a donation drive for the Baboquivari School District. They applied for grants and raised $3,100 to pay for temperature readings and hygiene supplies. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” she said.

Nadira is one of 93 students receiving a scholarship from the Trico Foundation. Scholarships are funded by Trico Members’ and past Members’ unclaimed or donated Capital Credit retirements. Click here to donate your Capital Credits.

Trico employee becomes a leader in our community

Tanya Mitchell is active in the community, volunteering for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona and other organizations.

One of the unique things about cooperatives is how they provide education and training for their Members, elected representatives, managers and employees so that they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.

Trico encourages employees to get the training and education they need to excel at their job. Tanya Mitchell is a great example of this.

Tanya began at Trico in 2006 as a Summer Intern and performed a variety of tasks including filing and data entry in numerous departments including Member Services, Design, IT and Accounting. She continued as an on-call employee while she attended the University of Arizona. Tanya graduated in May 2009 with a degree in Public Administration from Eller’s College of Management.

In 2010, she was offered the position of Renewable Resource Specialist, where she ensured that Trico’s renewable and demand-side management programs ran smoothly and continued to improve upon the processes and procedures of each program. While in this position, Trico was awarded Utility of the Year in 2012 by Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).

“It was a rewarding experience to be able to take a program that was just beginning and develop it into what it is today, while also helping the Members,” Tanya said.

In 2014, Tanya transitioned to Commercial Account Specialist. In this position, she built and maintained strong, long-lasting relationships with Trico’s Commercial Accounts and Small Businesses. She also represented Trico at promotional events, trade shows, conventions, and participated in communication and business organizations, including multiple town chambers.

“In this position, I learned a lot about our service territory, and I enjoyed meeting with Members one-on-one,” she said.

Tanya was promoted to Senior Business Planning Analyst in 2019. The experience she gained from her previous positions has helped prepare her to be a better analyst.

“I have a better understanding of Trico and the Members we serve,” she said.

Tanya is also active in the community, volunteering for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, Junior Achievement and United Way. She is also involved in the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Council and serves as Vice President of the Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) Board.

In 2020, she participated in Greater Tucson Leadership, a 10-month program designed to teach adult learners how to be leaders and to engage in their community in more meaningful and impactful ways. She graduated from the program in June 2021.

“One of the key takeaways I learned from the training is that a leader doesn’t need a title to be a leader in their community,” Tanya said.

Trico maintains reliability by managing trees and vegetation near our lines

You may see Trico employees or contractors trimming trees or pruning vegetation near Trico lines. We do this to prevent trees from contacting our lines, to provide our line crews with clear access to maintain the lines and to make repairs quickly during an outage.

Maintaining vegetation helps improve reliability in our system and reduce costly damage to our lines. When performing this work, we strive to respect our Members’ privacy and protect our beautiful natural surroundings.

We do this by working within easements and rights-of-way (ROW). These are property rights that authorize Trico to install and maintain our lines and perform clean-up work. It is vital for safety and reliability that these areas be kept clear. A well-maintained right-of-way makes visually identifying any down lines easy to locate, and it makes power restoration times shorter by not having to wrangle lines out of trees. The photo above is an example of a fence that prevents our staff from getting to Trico’s power poles. You can help us by not putting up fences, structures, trees or vegetation that block access within Trico’s easements and ROW.

One employee who plays a key role in protecting our lines is our Patrolman. Trico’s Patrolman monitors Trico’s service area to make sure the equipment is working properly and there are no obstructions, including fences, trees or other vegetation. You may see our Patrolman in the field, wearing a Trico uniform and performing this important work.

The overall goal of our vegetation management program is to provide reliable power to our Members while maintaining the beauty of our community. Proactive vegetation management benefits Members in three tangible ways:


First and foremost, we care about our Members and put their safety and that of our linemen above all else. Overgrown vegetation and trees pose a risk to power lines. For example, if trees are touching power lines in our Members’ yards, they can pose a serious danger. Electricity can arc, or jump, from a power line to a nearby tree. A proactive approach diminishes the chances of fallen branches or trees during severe weather events that make it more complicated and dangerous for linemen to restore power.


Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a smart vegetation management program is reliability. Strategic tree trimming reduces the frequency of downed lines causing power outages. Proactive trimming and pruning keep lines clear to promote reliability.

We monitor our entire system and take extra steps in areas with heavy vegetation. For example, we rent a helicopter to monitor the line serving Mt. Lemmon.


As you know, Trico is a not-for-profit cooperative, and that means we strive to keep our costs down to keep our rates affordable. This extends to our approach to vegetation management. If trees grow too close to power lines, the potential for expensive repairs also increases. Effective tree trimming and other vegetation management efforts keep costs down for everyone.

Our community is a special place. We appreciate the natural beauty and do our best to limit our impact on our Members, but we also know our community depends on us to provide reliable energy. Through vegetation management, we are better able to keep the power lines clear, prepare for future weather events and secure the reliability of the grid. If you are aware of any potential hazard near a Trico line, please contact Trico at 520-744-2944, and thank you for helping to keep easements and rights-of-way clear so we can continue to provide safe, reliable power in a cost-effective manner.

Trico Community Scale Solar and Battery Storage Facility coming to Pinal County

Trico Electric Cooperative, Torch Clean Energy and CoBank are partnering to construct a 10 megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility along with a 15 megawatt battery storage system on Edwin Road west of North Oracle Road, within Pinal County. The solar and battery storage project is called the Chirreon Facility (Chirreon). Construction of Chirreon will begin in fall 2021 and is projected to be in service by mid-2022.

Chirreon will have over 40,000 photovoltaic solar panels, and the 15 megawatt battery storage system will be capable of discharging 30 MWh of energy. Chirreon will be located in the Trico service area on approximately 90 acres of land owned by the Arizona State Land Department. The solar panels have single-axis tracking devices that automatically track the sun throughout the day to maximize power generation. The battery storage will help Trico delay the cost of transmission and distribution upgrades and manage area load in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

Once operational the Chirreon facility will produce more than 30,000 megawatt-hours of energy each year, or enough to power about 3,000 average residential homes in the Trico service territory.

“As a community-owned cooperative, Trico’s mission is to provide its Members safe, reliable energy in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner. The battery storage system at Chirreon will be one of the first for a cooperative in Arizona, and it exemplifies Trico’s commitment to achieving its mission and serving its Members in innovative ways.” said Brian Heithoff, CEO and General Manager of Trico.

“Torch is honored to continue its partnership with Trico as we embark on our second project with them to deliver more locally generated renewable energy for the community,” said Jon Kilberg of Torch. “Building the first energy storage system for an Arizona cooperative utility is a major milestone for both the Trico community and the state! We are proud to play a role in Trico’s development of solar energy capabilities as well as its transition to a green future.”

Through a long-standing partnership, CoBank provided the financing for this project.

“CoBank Farm Credit Leasing is honored to continue our relationship with Trico to finance this innovative solution that expands its affordable and solar energy options,” said Graham Kaiser, senior relationship manager for CoBank. “As a mission-driven lender, we look forward to the completion of this project and the ability for Trico to expand its service for Members in an environmentally responsible manner.”


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About Trico Electric Cooperative –

Trico is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving more than 45,000 members in northwest Tucson, Marana, Corona de Tucson, Saddlebrooke, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Three Points and Arivaca. Formed in 1945, Trico is owned by the people it serves.


About Torch Clean Energy –

Torch Clean Energy is a privately-held renewable energy developer with extensive experience developing, permitting, designing and building both solar and wind projects. Torch has over 1,400 MW of projects under development throughout the United States, including over 550 MW of contracted assets that are expected to be constructed by 2023. To learn more about Torch, visit


About CoBank

CoBank is a $160 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and maintains an international representative office in Singapore.