|proposed location for 10 RICE gas-fired generators|
Here is my letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission asking them to oppose TEP's application to install 10 gas-fired generators. (See yesterday's Call to Action.) Got it in just under the wire to be considered at their 10 a.m. hearing in Phoenix today! Hope you got yours in too!
AZCC Docket # L-00000C-17-0365-00177
As a Tucson Electric Power customer, I urge you to delay your ruling on TEP’s application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility, and withhold authorization for the construction of the Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine Generation Project and the Irvington 138kV Transmission Line Relocation Project, consisting of 10 modular RICE generators and 2.2 miles of transmission lines, located within TEP’s Irvington campus.
As a member of Sustainable Tucson, I am concerned about TEP’s unambitious goal of transitioning to 30% clean energy by 2030. Unfortunately, the negative impacts of climate change are progressing much faster than that. If TEP is truly dedicated to transitioning to clean energy, why would they be installing 10 new pollution spewing gas-fired generators?
In Commissioner Tobin’s “Arizona’s Energy Modernization Plan, the commissioner outlined steps for Affordability and Reliability.
1. Thoughtful planning so the transition to clean energy is gradual and considers the useful life of existing facilities while not locking into new non-clean energy investments that may be stranded in the near future.
Aren’t the RICE Generators locking us into non-clean energy investments that may be stranded in the future?
My engineer husband, Dan Stormont, and I have been actively following the rapid innovations happening in solar storage and believe that they will be an economically feasible option in the near future.
Battery storage has already resulted in the cancellation of proposed gas peaker plants in California. Regulators there are even requiring utilities to open competitive solicitations for solar + battery storage that are likely to supplant three existing gas peaker plants. Please, allow a similar condition to arise in our utility area. Regulate for the right choice to be made from the start.
TEP has failed to adequately demonstrate that there is no substantially more environmentally responsible and comparably cost and performance-competitive set of measures than the internal combustion generation they propose. I, along with the sustainability community, believe that currently available solar plus battery storage technology (possibly but not necessarily accompanied by time-of-use rates and other demand response measures) would result in improved service to all TEP customers with better environmental and financial outcomes for the utility and the customer base.
Two years ago, RICE may have made more sense than it does now. Even in the last few months, battery storage has come of age. Given the urgency of the need to decarbonize our energy production mix, we need to take advantage of the best solutions available now. This is a great opportunity for Tucson to promote climate justice and for TEP to model in-time climate and environmental decisions and action.
Thank you for your time and for considering my concerns.
Tuesday, March 13, at 6 PM
Ward 6 Council Offices
3202 E 1st St, Tucson, Arizona 85716