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TEP to get more power from wind

Will build large wind farm in New Mexico
Posted at 6:56 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 21:56:04-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A lot of people in Tucson care deeply about the environment.

Now the power company that serves most of the area is increasing its commitment to green energy. Tucson Electric will depend more on wind power.

Tucson Electric says in about two years, it will have enough energy from the wind to power more than two-thirds of the homes in Tucson.

The company has committed to a wind farm with 61 large, modern, wind powered generators.

The new wind farm will help green-up Tucson Electric's energy mix. It already gets a large share of its power from solar panels it owns and panels owned by businesses and people in the community.

TEP says right now solar produces enough to power about 117 thousand homes.

TEP Spokesman Joe Barrios says the new wind farm will be in New Mexico because the wind is more reliable there and even if the wind quiets down for awhile, solar, storage batteries, and traditional power plants can keep power flowing.

"The goal here is to remake the systems we use to generate power for customers so that they're cleaner but also as low cost as possible."

Barrios says it's too soon to know how the infusion of wind power will affect what you pay.

Dan Millis of the Sierra Club says it's always good to have more wind and renewable energy.

"And hopefully that can be used to offset some of the coal and gas power that they're relying on now. So maybe we can burn less gas on the south side of Tucson, and less coal up in Springerville."

And TEP says it's working to add other wind and solar projects to the energy mix.