Biomass, Renewables

TEP to look into forest biomass generation technologies

Tucson Electric Power is seeking information about forest biomass generation systems that could generate power for customers while improving the health of Arizona forests.

TEP issued a request for information about technologies, costs, environmental benefits, construction requirements and interconnection requirements of forest biomass energy projects. Information collected during this RFI process will be used to help determine the feasibility of using forest feedstocks as a renewable resource in Arizona.

Biomass power plants use the heat produced from the combustion of biological materials to generate electricity. Biomass fuels may include forest residues, crop residues, primary and secondary mill residues, and urban wood waste. TEP will coordinate with other Arizona utilities, as appropriate, to consider joint efforts to develop a forest biomass energy project.

TEP anticipates filing a forest biomass proposal with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in 2019. The RFI process is being managed by New Hampshire-based Accion Group. 

TEP is working to deliver at least 30 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2030, doubling the state’s 2025 goal. Nearly 13 percent of TEP’s power came from solar, wind and other renewable resources last year, well above Arizona’s 7 percent requirement for 2017.

TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to about 424,000 customers in Southern Arizona.