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Photovoltaic Power Plant Experience at Tucson Electric Power

[+] Author Affiliations
Larry Moore, Hal Post

Sandia National Laboratories

Terry Mysak

Tucson Electric Power Company

Paper No. IMECE2005-82328, pp. 387-394; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Energy Conversion and Resources
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4218-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) currently has nearly 5.0 MWdc of utility-scale grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems that have been installed in its service territory since 2000. Most of this installed PV capacity is in support of the Arizona Corporation Commission Environmental Portfolio Standard (EPS) goal that encourages TEP to generate 1.1% of its energy generation through renewable resources by 2007, with 60% of that amount from photovoltaics. The EPS program provides for multi-year, pay-as-you-go development of renewable energy, with kWhac energy production as a key program measurement. A total of 26 crystalline silicon collector systems, each rated at 135 kWdc, have been installed at the Springerville, AZ generating plant by TEP making this one of the largest PV plants in the world. These systems were installed in a standardized, cookie-cutter approach whereby each uses the same array field design, mounting hardware, electrical interconnection, and inverter unit. This approach has allowed TEP to achieve a total installed system cost of $5.40/Wdc and a TEP-calculated levelized energy cost of $0.10/kWhac for PV electrical generation. During this time, much has been learned regarding performance, cost, maintenance, installation and design. This paper presents an assessment of these topics and a perspective associated with this PV experience.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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