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Arizona water company opts for cheap solar amid pressure to buy coal power

Author: Mrs. Gemstone. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

June 11 (Renewables Now) - Arizona water supplier the Central Arizona Project (CAP) last week approved a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) amid suggestions from the US Interior Department that it might oblige CAP to buy power from a coal-fired plant, due to close in 2019.

The 20-year solar PPA is for electricity from a 30-MW project developed by AZ Solar 1 and is priced at USD 24.99 (EUR 21.2) per MWh, which Greentech Media said is the lowest confirmed solar PPA price in the US so far in the GTM database.

According to Greentech Media, the solar farm will only provide 14% of CAP's electricity. Currently, its main power provider is the coal-fuelled Navajo Generating Station (NGS).

A week ahead of the board meeting, Assistant Interior Secretary Timothy Petty had written to CAP, indicating that the secretary might ask CAP to buy coal power from NGS.

CAP has said it does not view the letter as a mandate. Greentech Media cited spokesperson DeEtte Person as saying that because NGS is still due to close, CAP needs to find power, but there is room in the portfolio to consider using NGS power if such an option exists in the future.

The publication, however, commented that CAP may not wish to buy NGS power as it is estimated to be double the price of the solar PPA.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.848)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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