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TEP and City of Tucson plan to power city operations with renewable energy

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Posted at 6:56 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 21:56:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Electric Power and the City of Tucson have signed a letter of intent to work towards powering 100% of city operations with renewable energy.

TEP's CEO, Susan Gray, had pledged to begin discussions of a clean energy supply agreement with the city, which has been submitted for approval by city voters as Proposition 412 in a May 16 special election. The agreement would reflect progress made since then.

“We’re proud to help the city achieve its clean energy objectives as part of our own efforts to provide cleaner, less carbon-intensive energy for all of our customers,” Gray said.

Mayor Regina Romero had requested an agreement similar to TEP's clean energy supply contract with the University of Arizona during negotiations over the franchise proposal. TEP provides service to the city at over 2,000 locations ranging from office buildings to water wells, which would need to be addressed in any such agreement.

This contract, which will be completed in 2021, will bring carbon-free electricity to UArizona's main campus from TEP's Oso Grande Wind Farm in southeast New Mexico and the Wilmot Energy Center solar array near Tucson.

“I am very pleased to be working on transitioning City operations to 100 percent renewable energy through a power supply agreement with our partners at TEP,” Romero said. “Mayor and Council have made a clear commitment to reducing our emissions to net zero by 2030, and this is an important step in advancing that goal. Taking bold action to combat the effects of climate change helps us protect our most vulnerable community members and our beautiful Sonoran Desert.”

TEP has helped to electrify the city's transport fleet and Mayor Romero's Million Trees Initiative, among other efforts. The outcome of Proposition 412 would have no impact on the deal.

Bivian Contreras is a real-time editor for KGUN 9. Bivian graduated from the University of Arizona School of Journalism with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Broadcast and is currently pursuing a degree in Broadcast Operational Meteorology. Share your story ideas and important issues with Bivian by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.