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Power Sources

SRP board OKs deal to buy energy from Apple 50-MW solar plant

Salt River Project's Board of Directors has approved an agreement under which SRP will buy the energy produced from Apple's new 50-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant in Pinal County, Arizona, east of Apple's data command center in Mesa.

SRP noted in a Sept. 20 news release that it was part of an Arizona team that worked with Apple to locate in the East Valley in 2014 and later built an interconnection near the facility to help facilitate the construction of the Bonnybrooke PV solar plant.

"SRP is committed to working with our customers like Apple to meet their energy needs with the accelerated development of renewable resources, such as solar and geothermal, without increasing costs to our other customers," said SRP General Manager and CEO Mark Bonsall.

Apple has completed construction and is finalizing the commissioning of the large-scale solar array, so that the power can feed into the SRP grid that supports Apple.

The terms of the 25-year purchase power agreement support new renewable energy and development in Arizona, but do not impact other SRP ratepayers as the energy is purchased by SRP at a wholesale market rate, SRP noted.

Apple will retain all of the environmental attributes generated from the solar plant.

SRP, a community-based nonprofit public power utility, has established a goal that by fiscal year 2020, it will meet a target of 20 percent of its expected retail energy requirements with sustainable resources. Among them are a diversified resource mix of wind, geothermal, large hydro and low-impact hydro, landfill gas and solar.

SRP's total current renewable capacity is 791 MW.

SRP serves about one million customers in Maricopa and Pinal counties.