By Bharat Venkatesh
The Board of Directors of Salt River Project (SRP), a community-based nonprofit public power utility that serves about one million customers in Maricopa and Pinal counties, have approved an agreement to purchase solar energy produced by Apple’s new 50-megawatt Bonnybrooke photovoltaic solar power plant.
The 25-year Purchase Power Agreement includes terms supporting new renewable energy development in Arizona but does not impact other SRP ratepayers as the energy is purchased by SRP at a wholesale market rate. Apple will retain all the environmental attributes generated from the solar plant.
As part of an Arizona team that worked with Apple to locate in the East Valley in 2014, SRP cooperated with the technological giant in its construction of the solar farm in Pinal County, which will also feed the company’s global command center in Mesa.
“SRP is committed to working with our customers like Apple to meet their energy needs with the accelerated development of renewable resources, such as solar and geothermal, without increasing costs to our other customers,” said SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bonsall. “This opportunity is not only economical, but a powerful demonstration of how SRP can be a catalyst for economic development in the Valley.”
With construction of the plant completed, Apple is currently finalizing the commissioning of the large-scale solar array so that clean power can feed into SRP’s power grid. SRP’s purchase will reduce the carbon footprint of the fossil fuel resources serving its more than one million customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.