SRP seeks 2.5 GW clean power, 1.2 GW peak capacity as rapid Phoenix-area growth continues

Salt River Project continues to experience significant load growth on its Arizona system and on Monday announced plans for a new all-source request for proposals for up to 1,200 MW of peak generating capacity and up to 2,500 MW of carbon-free capacity.

The resources should have commercial operation dates between 2028 and 2029, though the utility said it will also consider proposals for resources that “require longer development times, not estimated to be online until 2030 or later.”

SRP serves the Phoenix metropolitan area, which is one of the fastest growing in the nation. The utility’s latest Integrated System Plan found SRP will need to double or triple power resource capacity from a “wide range of technologies” to meet projected energy demand and achieve its 2035 sustainability goals.

SRP is a not-for-profit public power utility serving 1.1 million customers, with a goal to reduce its carbon intensity 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels.

The utility expects to add more than 2 GW of solar and 1 GW of battery storage by the mid 2020s, and by 2032 plans to retire more than 1.3 GW of capacity at four coal plants. “New renewables and firm capacity are part of a least-cost portfolio, even under a wide range of gas price and technology cost sensitivities,” according to its plan.

“To double or triple the generation capacity in only 10 years will be an incredible undertaking, and we will need to work diligently with project developers and other partners to implement this ambitious plan,” SRP Director of Resource Planning Grant Smedley said in a statement.

The RFP will be posted later this month, the utility said. Along with proposals, SRP said it will also consider “self-developed resource options.”

Last year, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a 575-MW expansion of SRP’s Coolidge Generating Station. And in October, the utility said it would explore emerging long-duration storage technologies to meet “explosive growth” in Arizona.