Innovating for Our Members
January 1, 2024
Since Trico was formed over 75 years ago, we have been focused on using technology, creativity, and hard work to improve the lives of our Members. From those early days to now, Trico employees have shared a commitment to providing Members with innovative energy solutions. Back then it was bringing power to areas that never had electricity before; now it includes adding cost-effective, sustainable resources, and in the coming years it will include programs to empower our Members to design their service to meet their unique needs.
Innovation is one of Trico’s core values, and something we talk about every day. We are always striving to improve the cooperative and better serve our Members. As we look forward to 2024, I want to share a few of the ways Trico is innovating to build a more resilient and reliable grid, and meet our Members needs.
The Grid of the Future
Trico is enhancing its reliability by replacing existing Oil Circuit Reclosers (OCRs) with Automated Vacuum Reclosers (AVRs). In the coming years, Trico will replace 96 OCRs with AVRs to improve the system’s capacity, reliability, and resilience. Reclosers are high-voltage switches designed to automatically address disturbances on the grid. If a problem is temporary and resolves quickly, the recloser automatically resets itself and restores power, without a need for manual intervention. Installing AVRs will reduce maintenance requirements, give grid operators greater visibility and control of the system, and allow Trico to set up protection profiles to reduce the frequency and length of outages.
Innovation on power supply is all about balance. Trico is continuing to add solar generation and battery storage, supporting Members who choose to install solar at their homes and businesses, and working with our generation partners to invest in new efficient natural gas technology. The goal of this diverse portfolio is to provide reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable service to our Members.
In early 2024, Trico will complete installation of a 10MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Trico’s Sahuarita Substation. The Sahuarita BESS will be able to power around 2,500 homes for about four hours. The BESS will allow Trico to buy and store energy when wholesale prices are low, which will help Trico avoid expensive market purchases and save money for all Members.
Stay tuned for future updates on additional power supply projects that will be completed or started in 2024. Throughout the year we will be sharing details on several projects that will help Trico meet our goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2032, while ensuring reliable service and affordable prices.
Trico is working to develop a variety of rate options that will provide our Members with choice, and empower Members to better manage their energy usage. The new rates will include additional options for Members with electric vehicles, options for those who want to serve their load with more renewable energy, and other options to help Members tailor their service to match their lifestyle.
The New Year brings hope, opportunities, and new challenges, and Trico is ready to take on the year with a spirit of service and innovation. As always, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you, our Members. Happy New Year from Trico!