Originally Published: October 16, 2016 5:55 a.m.
This summer, Arizona Public Service (APS) surpassed one gigawatt of solar energy capacity, becoming the only utility outside of California to achieve this milestone. When generating at full power, this capacity meets the partial daytime needs of 250,000 Arizona homes. The company’s total investment in solar energy is approximately $2 billion.
APS’s solar portfolio is almost an even split between rooftop systems and grid-scale projects, with 551 megawatts coming from rooftop systems and 499 megawatts coming from grid-scale projects. APS receives its grid-scale solar generation from a combination of APS-owned systems and power purchase agreements. Through its AZ Sun Program, APS owns and operates nine solar plants across Arizona. These plants were designed and constructed by independent solar developers, contractors and equipment providers, and provide 170 megawatts of capacity. The rest of APS’s grid-scale solar comes from independently owned power plants across Arizona with long-term agreements to sell power to APS. Most of the power from rooftop solar comes from systems owned by homeowners or leasing companies. APS owns 10 megawatts. The APS-owned systems are placed on customer homes in a way that allows the company to engage in research and development activities.