As the electric industry and our membership grows and changes, Trico endeavors to satisfy the energy needs of the communities it serves with a flexible and responsive resource portfolio that reduces reliance on non-renewable resources while maintaining reliability and affordability.
Trico procures its energy requirements from long-term wholesale purchase power agreements and from its renewable energy portfolio. Trico’s energy mix includes generation from coal, natural gas, hydro-electric, and renewable sources. Over the last 10 years Trico has diversified its generation portfolio to reduce its reliance on coal and expand cost‐effective renewable resources, particularly solar.
The charts below reflect the changes in Trico’s energy mix from 2010 to 2022. Energy from coal has reduced from 75% in 2010 to 20% in 2022, while energy from renewable resources has increased from less than 1% in 2010 to 26% in 2022.
Trico has committed to provide its members environmentally conscientious and economically feasible energy alternatives. As a result, Trico has a robust renewable program and a portfolio of almost 50,000 kilowatts of connected renewable generation capacity, providing a significant portion of Trico’s peak load requirements of approximately 230,000 kilowatts. Trico’s renewable portfolio includes community scale renewable resources and retail renewable programs.
Trico has and continues to make community scale renewables part of its overall resource planning to meet the future energy needs of its Members. With economies of scale, large utility or community renewables are about a third the cost of smaller retail systems (e.g. residential homeowner and small business rooftop solar systems). Benefits of community scale renewables are shared by all the Trico membership.
Trico’s community scale systems provide over 15,000 kilowatts of capacity and over 45,000,000 kilowatt hours per year of renewable energy or enough to power more than 4,500 homes. Trico’s community scale systems represent about 40% of Trico’s total renewable portfolio and include:
227 kilowatt ac fixed panel solar PV system located adjacent to the Trico headquarters which was constructed in 2011. Funded by Members purchase of panel output and through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
20,000 kilowatt ac single axis tracking solar PV system. Apache Solar is a joint project with Trico and other electric cooperatives in Arizona which was constructed in 2017. Trico has a 25% allocation or 5,000 kilowatt ac.
10,000 kilowatt ac single axis tracking solar PV system located in Marana. Trico partnered with Torch Clean Energy and Farm Credit leasing on the project that went into service in December of 2018.
This project is located in the SaddleBrooke area and includes a 10,000 kilowatt ac single axis tracking solar PV system and battery storage (enough energy to power about 3,000 homes).
Trico’s retail renewable programs (SunWatts) continue to play a significant role in the resource mix with distributed generation located at a homes and businesses across the Trico service area. Retail renewables represent over 84,000,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year and nearly 39,000 kilowatts of connected generation (almost exclusively solar). Trico’s retail SunWatts programs represent about 70% of Trico’s total renewable portfolio.
Trico has significant demand for renewable resources from our Members, with over 3,500 retail solar photovoltaic and 211 solar water heating systems installed. Trico Members also have several wind systems interconnected.
Trico interconnects more than 57 new solar systems every month and had a record year in 2020 for retail solar renewable applications of 578. See the Trico retail solar application history at right.
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