Regulators approve 25 MW solar project to serve TEP customers

Tucson, Ariz., June 22, 2011 – The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to approve construction of a 25-MW photovoltaic array in Avra Valley that will become Tucson Electric Power’s largest single source of solar energy.

The system will be built, owned and operated by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures on 305 acres of former farmland at the northwest corner of Sanders and Emigh Roads.

TEP will purchase all of the solar energy the system produces – enough to power more than 4,500 homes. Construction will begin this fall, and the system is slated for completion by April 2012.

FRV’s system will produce nearly $4.5 million in property tax revenues for Pima County over the life of the company’s 20-year power purchase agreement with TEP. The system also will generate lease revenue for Tucson Water, which owns the site.

Construction of the array will create 250-300 short-term jobs and $400,000 in sales tax revenue for Pima County. When the system is operational, between six and eight security and maintenance jobs will be needed.

FRV’s system is one of 10 solar power projects planned for the Tucson area through power purchase agreements with private developers. TEP also is expanding its own solar power systems and providing incentives to help customers add photovoltaic arrays to their homes and businesses. In all, TEP plans to expand its solar generating capacity from 25 MW today to more than 200 MW by the end of 2014.

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