Seven new solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems installed at City of Tucson facilities are coming online in Tucson, Arizona. The new 2.3 megawatt (MW) DC rooftop and carport solar power systems – developed by SPG Solar and interconnected by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) – span downtown Tucson, including the Tucson Convention Center, providing combined $6.2 million net revenues over 25 years.This project shows the City of Tucson’s commitment to sustainability by providing the community with up to 60 green jobs during time of construction, two student internships, and clean renewable energy. These latest projects build on Tucson’s first phase of solar, which was 1 MW of solar – including both rooftop and single axis tracking systems - developed by SPG Solar in 2009.“This largest City solar project was made possible with low-interest Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, Tucson Electric Power’s renewable energy credits and made easy by SPG Solar’s experience and range of solar services,” said Doug Crockett, City of Tucson Energy Manager. “We’ve basically initiated a municipal-owned solar utility which will generate net revenues to fund future energy efficiency and deferred maintenance projects on city facilities.”
SPG Solar capitalized on its solar design and engineering experience, providing the City with optimized rooftop and carport solar power systems at the Tucson Convention Center, Rincon Golf Links, Hardesty, Randolph, Crime Lab, and two locations at TOPSC. The power generated at each site will offset, on average, 55 percent of the electricity used at each location.“The City of Tucson has become a committed, long-term solar partner,” said SPG Solar CEO Chris Robine. “They presented us with a challenge to maximize the amount of solar electricity the City could generate; so we capitalized on our years of experience to design, engineer, build and maintain a set of solar power systems that will deliver the best return on investment.”TEP will provide financial incentives to the City of Tucson through the company’s customer-funded large commercial solar program, which will reduce installation costs. The systems’ output will help TEP work toward the renewable energy goals established by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).
“We’re very pleased to be working with the City of Tucson and SPG Solar on these systems, which will produce clean, green energy for city facilities using one of Arizona’s greatest natural resources – sunshine,” said Carmine Tilghman, TEP’s Director of Renewable Resources. “We expect to dramatically expand our solar generating capacity to more than 200 MW by the end of 2014 through a combination of company-owned resources, privately developed projects and distributed generating systems like the ones installed by the City of Tucson.”The latest 2.3 MW system will produce nearly 4 million kilowatt hours the first year, which is equivalent to powering 350 average American homes annually.