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Tag: environment

Renewable Energy Boost Rate

Renewable Energy Boost Rate gives Members an affordable way to contribute to Trico’s energy goals

May 1, 2024

Sustainability is part of Trico’s mission. The Renewable Energy Boost Rate is designed to provide Trico Members with an inexpensive and flexible renewable energy option. Members on this rate benefit from a simple and transparent way to go green, without having to invest in home solar systems.N

Members on this rate pay an extra $0.01 per kWh to roundup from the amount of renewables on Trico’s system (35%) to cover 100% of your usage. Trico will purchase and retire Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the West to account for the difference.

What’s a REC and how does it work?

A REC is a renewable energy certificate. Because the physical electricity we receive through the utility grid says nothing of its origin or how it was generated, RECs play an important role in accounting, tracking, and assigning ownership to renewable electricity generation and use. Trico will purchase RECs from the West, ensuring it is a legitimate REC that will be retired to you. Retiring the REC means that you, and only you, will be able to use that particular REC and it will not be sold again to another Member. As your local cooperative, Trico takes integrity seriously and is proud to ensure there is transparency and accountability in how we purchase and retire these RECs.

How much more will I spend per month on my energy usage?

The average Trico Member will spend an additional $4-$8 per month on their energy bill, depending on their individual usage each month and the time of year. Trico’s goal is to ensure Members can participate in this rate by providing an affordable and sustainable energy solution.

How do I know if this rate is right for me?

This rate offers an inexpensive option for Members who are willing to pay a little more each month for renewable energy. This rate might be right for you if:

  • You want to go green without having to purchase a home solar system.
  • You’re willing to pay a little extra each month to reduce carbon emissions.
  • You’re invested in supporting a sustainable future.

For more information, visit our website at

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Free Virtual Solar Workshop

Is solar right for you? Join Trico’s experts virtually as they answer your rooftop solar questions BEFORE you sign with a contractor. Register in advance here.

To ask any immediate solar related questions, email us at or call us at 520-744-2944, ext. 1524.


Trico Launches New EV Unlimited Rate

For some electric vehicle owners, our new EV Unlimited Rate could save you money

April 1, 2024

We are excited to announce our new Electric Vehicle (EV) Unlimited Rate. It is a simple, convenient option for Members who want to charge their EV at home.

This rate is designed to support the growing EV demand, and we recognize Trico Members with EVs have different needs. Members on this rate benefit from charging their EV in the convenience of their own home with the reliability and excellent service Trico provides.

Trico will install a level-two charger and offer unlimited charging at a flat monthly rate between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. See the chart at right.

This rate, along with our EV Time of Use Rate, is an example of Trico’s innovation to meet our Members’ needs in a way that benefits all Members.

To learn more, visit here.

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CEO Column: A Big Win for Trico Members

Trico is awarded $83.5 million to fund four renewable energy and battery projects

April 1, 2024

Trico was one of five cooperatives across the country selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move forward in the award process for the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program.

Trico’s projects include the following:

Arivaca Rural Microgrid: A microgrid with 3MW of solar generation and 3MW/12MWh of battery storage capacity, designed to serve the load of approximately 620 residents in Arivaca. A microgrid is a power system that can be detached from the main electric grid either full time or for a specific event, like a power outage. This project is designed to use renewable energy and battery technology to improve reliability and resilience, especially during extreme weather events like monsoons. Trico also received a $7 million grant from the Department of Energy for this project.

Trico Standalone Battery Energy Storage System: This 10MW/40MWh battery storage system will help Trico manage its peaks and save Members money by charging the battery when solar energy is plentiful and prices are low, and discharging energy during peaks when market prices are high. The project will be located on the northwest side of Trico’s service territory where rapid growth is increasing demand.

Avion Solar and Battery Energy Storage Facility II: A facility with 10MW of solar generation and 10MW/40MWh of battery storage capacity. The project will be located near Trico’s existing Avion Solar and Battery Energy Storage Facility in Marana and will be capable of powering about 2,500 homes. 

Valencia Solar and Battery Energy Storage Facility: A facility with 10MW of solar generation and 10MW/40MWh of battery storage capacity. The project will be located near Trico’s Valencia Substation and will be capable of powering about 2,500 homes.

Trico expects to develop and build the PACE projects over the next five years working with regional partners and the community to locate the projects and maximize their effectiveness. Development work will start immediately.

PACE is a big win for Trico Members and we are excited to be working with USDA and Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The projects Trico is planning to build will provide cost‑effective, sustainable energy solutions and benefit our Members for decades to come.


In support of Trico’s $83.5 million Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) award, Trico Staff and Board welcomed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Dr. Basil Gooden to Trico’s headquarters on March 14, 2024. Trico provided a tour of the Avion Solar and Battery Energy Storage Facility to Under Secretary Gooden, USDA officials, and local and statewide representatives.

Top right: Under Secretary Dr. Basil Gooden (center) with Eric Hawkins, Trico COO and General Counsel, and Brian Heithoff, Trico CEO and GM, tours Trico’s Avion Solar and Battery Energy Storage Facility. Bottom right: Following the tour, Trico hosted a roundtable discussion regarding Trico’s four clean energy PACE projects.

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Rooftop Solar Considerations

Questions to consider before installing rooftop solar

February 1, 2024

The benefits of installing rooftop solar panels may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is, not every home (and homeowner’s situation) is always right for solar.

There are several factors to consider before installing a rooftop solar system, like determining if your home will receive enough sun to achieve your goals, finding the right contractor, negotiating contracts and other important details.

Investing in solar for your home is a major decision. If you’re considering rooftop solar, Trico can help. We are committed to providing information and guidance to assist Members in determining if solar is right for them. Our Energy Solutions Program Managers are available to serve as your energy partner throughout the solar interconnection process. To get started, visit our website at or call us at 520-744-2944.

Here are questions to consider before installing rooftop solar panels.

  1. What are my goals? If your primary goal is to save money on electric bills, you may be able to achieve this by improving the energy efficiency of your home. Visit our website for a full list of energy efficiency tips and to see our upcoming free webinars and resources.
  2. Is my roof suitable for solar? Your roof should be in good condition before installing solar panels. If your roof is old and in poor shape, it may need to be replaced before panels can be mounted. Additionally, your roof should receive a lot of sun to make the most of a rooftop system. Consider how much sun (and shade) the roof receives and if any trees will need to be removed. Solar panels perform best when facing south, so keep this in mind as you think about where the panels will be mounted.
  3. How long will I own the home? If you’re considering rooftop solar, you’re likely planning to stay in the home for several years. But if you plan to sell the home at some point down the road, consider that not all potential buyers will want to maintain a rooftop solar system. If you enter a contract to lease the system, carefully review the terms and what those mean if you decide to sell the property.
  4. Lease or purchase? Purchasing a rooftop solar system outright is expensive, which is why many homeowners opt to lease their solar panels. However, federal tax credits can help cover some of the costs for a new system, up to 30%. Regardless of how you decide to finance the solar system, make sure you get several quotes from qualified contractors.
  5. Can the contractor provide up-to-date documentation? Request proof and documentation of the contractor’s licensing, permitting and other credentials. Comb through company reviews. Check the contractor’s status with the Better Business Bureau, the AZ Attorney General’s Office, and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
  6. Does the contract seem reasonable and fair? If you decide to hire a contractor to install rooftop solar, carefully read the fine print of the contract. Do the system performance calculations seem realistic? Does the project timeframe sound reasonable? Negotiate the contract terms to fit your goals and needs.
  7. Who will maintain the solar panels? Determining who is responsible for maintaining the solar panels will depend on who owns the system. If you lease the system from a solar installer, it may be their responsibility. Periodically, solar panels may need to be cleaned as dirt and debris can impact panel productivity. Parts may also need to be replaced, so it’s important to know who will take on these responsibilities.

If you decide to install solar, you should contact Trico to understand how the interconnection process works as well as what to expect on your bill. The system will likely be connected to the electric grid, so you’ll need to sign an interconnection agreement.

Did you miss our Virtual Solar Workshop on January 16? A recording of the workshop is available on our website at


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Go Electric with Trico

Go Electric with Trico and Save Money!

April 27, 2023

Electricity is becoming cleaner every day and Members can save money on their energy costs over time.

Trico provides our Members with the latest information on purchasing an electric vehicle (EV). From tax incentives and benefits to a savings calculator, our EV website provides details on different EV models and what type of EV may be best for you. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved Trico’s Experimental Electric Vehicle Tariff and that tariff will be available soon. Members who charge their EVs between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. will pay a discounted rate.

To learn more about electric vehicles, visit our website here. You can also call us at (520) 744‑2944 to speak with one of our Sustainable Energy experts.

Additional Resources:

  1. View fuel economy and energy saving EV tips here.
  2. Learn how EV drivers save almost $800 per year here.
  3. See your top questions answered in this EV 101 guide.


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CEO Column: Cost-Effective, Sustainable Power

A balanced approach to cost-effective, sustainable power

April 26, 2023

Have you ever considered how handy it is to flip a switch or push a button and have instant conveniences?

It seems so simple; you get a little cold or hot, you bump your thermostat up or down; your family gets hungry, you grab food from your refrigerator and heat it up in the microwave or cook a meal on your stove; stressful day at work, you jump into a hot tub of water.

Electricity is one of those reliable and instant conveniences. More than that, it is necessary to support our daily lives and plays a vital role in powering our future (think electric vehicles, heat pumps, and smart home devices).

Trico takes our responsibility to deliver cost-effective and sustainable power to our Members very seriously. I’d like to use this month’s column to make the point that to accomplish cost-effective AND sustainable, it requires a balanced portfolio of renewable and non-renewable sources, at least for the near and medium term.

As many of you know, there are various methods of electricity generation.

Dispatchable resources include coal and natural gas, which are used to generate electricity by combustion (thermal power). Nuclear power can also be generated through nuclear fission using uranium, the heat of which raises the temperature of water and rotates a steam turbine.

Among renewable energies, sunlight is directly converted into electricity (photovoltaics), rotation energy by wind is converted into electricity (wind power), and rotating water wheels are turned by running water to generate (hydro).

Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and currently there is no single source of power that can solve Trico’s mission to be cost-effective AND sustainable all on its own. A quick review of the weaknesses of each technology shows that a diverse mix of resources is vital.

  • Nuclear – Expensive, and hard to finance or site.
  • Coal – Emits carbon and is difficult to adjust to changing load requirements.
  • Wind and Solar – Intermittent, because the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine all hours of the day. Coupling these resources with battery storage helps, but given current technology 24/7 coverage with batteries is not cost effective or practical.
  • Hydro – Subject to water availability and impactful on the environment.
  • Natural Gas – Cost is subject to natural gas markets which can be volatile and emits carbon (although substantially less than coal).

So, what do we do?

It is Trico’s goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2032. This will result in increased sustainability at a reasonable cost. We have committed to this goal because it serves our mission, not because of any regulatory requirement. We don’t dispute the importance of transitioning our generation mix over time, and our resource planning shows it can be done in a cost-effective manner. It may be counter-intuitive, but we are also including natural gas generation in our plans. Natural gas generation can ramp up at any time of the day to meet Members’ swings in power usage and to adjust to changing weather. This is necessary to help us meet your power requirements 24/7, 365.

Could we reduce our carbon emissions faster? It may be possible but is not practical. With current technology, the result would be increased costs and/or hours during the year in which power may not be available, and because of supply chain issues related to renewable generation equipment the facilities required might not even be able to be built by the time needed.

Which leads to the point of this column, in order to accomplish sustainability AND cost effectiveness, it requires a mix of multiple generation resources. That has been our strategy in the past and is our strategy moving forward, all to meet our Members’ evolving energy needs. We know you depend on us and it is our privilege to serve our Members and our community.


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Keeping Our Communities Clean

Keeping Our Communities Clean

February 20, 2023

Concern for community is one of the seven cooperative principles. In January, several Trico employees and their families picked up trash along a 44-mile stretch of Arizona Highway 286 from Three Points to Sasabe.

Melissa Owen thanked Trico and the 120+ volunteers who donated a Saturday morning to clear Highway 286 and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge of 199 bags of trash.

The highway runs through Buenos Aires National Wildlife refuge, so trash along the roadway is not only unsightly but dangerous for raptors, pronghorn, whitetail deer and other wildlife.

Thank you to our volunteers for helping keep our communities clean and safe!


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