Salt River Project seeks 400 MW of new solar, with help of Navajo Nation - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 21, 2020

Salt River Project seeks 400 MW of new solar with help of Navajo Nation

Salt River Project is seeking up to 400 MW of solar energy to provide the power that will deliver electricity to their customers in the Salt River Valley, 200 MW of which would be sited on the Navajo Nation.

The non-profit public power utility expects the project to provide power to up to 100,000 Arizona customers. The utility issued a Request for Proposals for up to 400 MW of solar power and the remaining 200 MW of which that are not on the Navajo Nation are not location-specific, but must deliver to SRP’s transmission system.

The contracted solar energy will help SRP achieve its goal of acquiring 1,000 MW of new solar energy by 2025. The utility also requests that respondents provide project proposals that are a minimum of 100 MW and up to 200 MW in size, in addition to being able to be commercially operational by December 2023.

“This project is critical as it moves us forward in our goal to invest in more solar energy projects and offer our customers a diverse mix of affordable, emission-free power,” SRP General Manager and CEO Mike Hummel said in a statement. “We are also proud to work with the Navajo Nation as they facilitate further development of renewable energy.”

Last year, President Jonathan Nez of the Navajo Nation issued their Háyoołkááł (Sunrise) Proclamation, prioritizing the development of renewable energy on its land and supporting the utility commitment to reduce emissions by more than 60% by 2035 and 90% by 2050.

“It’s the beginning of a new era for the Navajo Nation — the start of new opportunities,” Nez said in a statement. “We recognize that coal-based energy provided many benefits for the workers and their families, but times are changing and energy development is changing. As Diné people, we have always been resilient in times of change, and that’s what we are doing by seeking developers for up to 200-megawatts of solar development with SRP. We are looking to become the leader in renewable energy throughout the Southwest and Indian Country.”

Proposals must be submitted by May 4, 2020 and the selection of the new projects is expected to be completed by July 2020.

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