No More Coal at Local Power Plant

| Energy Resources

TEP employees with misbehaving children are going to have to drive much further for their stocking stuffers this Christmas.

TEP has stopped using coal to fuel the H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station, our largest local power plant. The last remaining coal was fed into the boiler of Unit 4 on Aug. 13, 2015, leaving the multi-fuel unit to run primarily on natural gas.

The change came more than two years ahead of schedule, accelerating our ongoing plan to build a cleaner, more diverse energy portfolio. TEP is on track to reduce reliance on coal by 30 percent over five years while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent in the process.

“With the current low cost of natural gas, ending our use of coal at the Sundt Generating Station is a cost-effective way to improve our environmental performance while preserving the reliability of our local electric service,” TEP CEO and President David Hutchens said in a press release.

The Sundt plant is becoming a clean energy powerhouse. While all four units at the plant are now fueled by natural gas, Unit 4 also burns landfill gas, a renewable resource delivered by pipeline from the City of Tucson’s Los Reales Landfill. The unit also benefits from a unique “solar boost” project that adds up to five emission-free megawatts to its output.

The 500 giant reflectors and towering solar receiver that make up the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar system now dominate the landscape east of the power plant – an area that also used to include a rather large pile of coal.