APS solar power brightens path for cleaner, greener Arizona

APS solar power brightens path for cleaner, greener Arizona

  • APS customers installed a record amount of residential solar in 2021
  • APS solar power plants provide customers with clean energy
  • Game-changing battery storage resources will soon serve APS customers with solar after sunset

With nearly 300 sunny days to count on each year, Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and its customers are transforming Arizona’s sunshine into a renewable energy source that powers an increasing number of homes and businesses across the state. March 11 marks National Solar Appreciation Day and allows APS the opportunity to shine a light on its progress toward integrating solar energy in its service territory, helping to achieve the utility’s commitment to a 100% clean energy future and putting Arizona on the map as a solar leader.

“Every day we’re working toward a more sustainable tomorrow for Arizona as part of our commitment to serve customers with 100% clean and carbon-free energy by 2050,” said Jacob Tetlow, APS Executive Vice President of Operations. “Without compromising the strong reliability our customers enjoy, we’re continuously connecting more solar energy to our smart grid. Solar generation sites, battery storage and customer rooftop solar systems are important resources to help make the most out of our state’s sunshine.”

Powering Arizona with the Sun

APS supports customers interested in protecting the environment and reducing their energy bills by installing renewable energy technologies like rooftop solar systems at their homes, schools and businesses. Nearly 141,000 solar systems on customer rooftops and parking structures are already connected to the APS smart grid, providing almost 1,300 megawatts of robust solar capacity. Last year the amount of residential solar generating capacity installed in APS service territory was 20% higher than 2020. Nationally, only Hawaii and California have more residential solar capacity per capita than Arizona. As the largest electricity provider in the state, APS and its customers have been a big part of that achievement:

  • APS ranks 4th nationally for the percentage of residential customers with rooftop solar systems.
  • APS customers installed a record amount of residential solar capacity in 2021.
  • 15% of all single-family homes in APS territory have a solar system and that number continues to grow.

In addition to solar systems at customer locations, APS has constructed 10 large-scale solar facilities that make up APS’s AZ Sun fleet. These solar plants can produce enough locally generated, carbon-free energy to run approximately 60,000 dryer loads of laundry at once. They provide a reliable source of renewable energy and play an innovative role in APS’s clean energy transition.

To complement its own solar plants and its strong network of customer rooftop solar systems, APS utilizes a competitive solicitation process to obtain reliable, clean and affordable power to serve Arizona’s growing population and business community. All of these resources advance APS’s efforts to achieve a 100% clean energy mix by 2050, with a near-term goal of reaching a 65% clean resource mix, with 45% of that from renewables by 2030. Since announcing its Clean Energy Commitment in 2020, APS has procured nearly 1,400 megawatts of clean energy and storage – all of which will be in service for APS customers by the end of 2024.

Solar After Sunset

Later this year, customers across the state will enjoy more clean, renewable solar power after the sun goes down through industry-leading battery storage technology that APS will install on its existing solar facilities. Battery storage resources will be a game changer to power customers at night and on cloudy days with electricity from the sun, which will be stored and then released to serve customers even when solar systems aren’t generating.

To explore ways batteries can accelerate decarbonization, APS is teaming up with customers through the APS Residential Battery Pilot. Participating customers receive special incentives for installing batteries at home and sharing information about how their battery systems are performing. APS will use this information to enhance the customer experience by learning how battery technology can be leveraged to strengthen grid reliability and optimize the flexibility of APS’s electrical system.

Creating Sustainable Communities

The APS Solar Communities program provides a way for more people who are interested in protecting the environment to install rooftop solar systems with nearly $600 in annual bill credits to residential customers with limited and moderate incomes. In addition, Title I schools, nonprofits and rural governments can receive bill credits and enjoy the benefits of shaded parking by hosting APS solar parking structures at their sites. The more than 700 rooftop solar systems installed through the program have added 11 megawatts of solar energy capacity to the grid. The program will resume taking new applicants in spring 2022.

APS is celebrating solar all month long and teaming up with the Arizona Science Center to educate community members about the power of the sun for ‘APS Solar Month.’ Visitors can learn more about the sun’s light, heat and energy through hands-on activities, live demonstrations and tours of Solarville in the APS Solar Gallery. For more details, visit the Arizona Science Center’s website.

To learn more about APS’s transition to cleaner energy, visit aps.com/brighter.

For questions related to solar installations for your home or business, call the APS Customer Care Center at 602-371-7171 (800-253-9405).

ranch style home with solar panels on the roof
APS serves more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering affordable, clean and reliable energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’s current energy mix is 50% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

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