By Vin Nitido, Trico CEO and GM
I’m excited to announce that Trico is partnering with Torch Clean Energy to construct a 10-Megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility on West Avra Valley Road, within the Town of Marana.
Construction of the Avión Solar Project has begun, and the project is expected to be producing power by December of this year. During its first year of operation, the Avión Solar Project is expected to produce more than 30,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, or enough energy to power over 3,000 average residential homes in the Trico service territory each year.
Trico is dedicated to enhancing the lives of our members, employees and communities by providing safe, reliable energy and service in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner. This project directly supports our mission. Even with natural gas prices at a historic low, community-scale renewables are becoming increasingly cost competitive. Utilities across the country are quickly recognizing that renewables, coupled with storage or fast starting generators, can provide flexibility in accommodating new technologies.
As I’ve indicated before, renewable resources are not yet fully cost competitive with fossil fuel alternatives and cannot yet meet 100% of our energy needs. The Avión Solar Project is part of our balanced energy portfolio that recognizes the value of renewable resources from a cost, operating and environmental standpoint. As you can see from the charts below, ten years ago, Trico’s energy mix included 75% from coal, 20% from natural gas and less than 1% from solar. Today only about one-third of our energy is generated from coal. Almost half is natural gas and more than 15% of our energy comes from renewable and hydropower resources.
Trico’s Avión Solar Project is at the forefront of many new initiatives we will be talking about over the next few months. Stay tuned for more information on how Trico plans to partner with our Members to better manage their energy.
# # #
About Torch Clean Energy –
Started in 2006, Torch Clean Energy is a privately-held renewable energy development company with extensive experience developing, permitting, designing, building and financing renewable energy facilities in the United States. To date, Torch Clean Energy has developed over 500 MW of operating renewable energy projects across the U.S., including the 101 MW Red Horse Facility, one of the largest wind-solar hybrid systems in the United States, located in Cochise County, Arizona. Visit www.torchcleanenergy.com for additional information about Torch Clean Energy.