Daily Management Review

Arizona Public Service ranks amongst the top 10 Solar Utilities in the U.S in 2014


The Arizona Public Service has been placed amongst the top 5 solar utilities in the U.S by the Solar Electric Power Association.

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has named Arizona Public Service (APS) as the customer who has invested the most megawatts into solar energy in 2014. It is the second consecutive year that APS has topped amongst the top 5, in four different categories in SEPA’s Top 10 Solar utility Listings.
Ever since SEPA began compiling its annual listing of top 10 solar utilities in the United States in 2007, the Arizona Public Service has always found itself in the upper half of its list. SEPA’s annual list is made up of over 1,000 utilities across the States who have installed and/or increased their solar energy capacity either for that particular year or its total cumulative solar energy installation for that particular year.
The following are instances in which APS has topped in the 2014 list:
  • Thanks to its cumulative capacity increase of 805 megawatts, by one of its investor-owned utility it was ranked 4th place.
  • It went up from its 5th spot to again 4th spot since it interconnected 7931 solar powered connections to the grid in a single year.
  • It ranked 5th place since one of its utility owned by an investor increased its solar capacity by customer to 701watt/customer.
  • Thanks to its cumulative interconnections of 31,806 it ranked 5th place.
In 2014, Arizona claimed the second spot amongst all 50 states in the U.S for its overall increase in solar energy. It was bested only by California which went on to claim the first spot.
It saw its ranking take a upward boost, thanks to the commissioning of its Gila Bend Solar Plant in October 2014, which commenced commercial operations. The 32 megawatt plant generates enough power so as to comfortably supply 8,000 homes in Arizona. The Gila Bend Solar Plant is the second largest solar powered plant in its Solar portfolio. In 2015, if everything goes as per plan, two more 10MW solar power plants will be commissioned in Arizona, which will bring up its power from solar energy to 170MW. With the increase in capacity, it can power at least 40,000 homes comfortably.
“APS is working to develop more long-term, sustainable energy sources that will continue, in turn, to drive Arizona’s role as a national solar leader. With more than 875 megawatts [currently] of solar available to our customers now – or enough energy to power more than 220,000 Arizona homes – we continue to grow and promote our vision of creating a sustainable energy future for Arizona and our customers,” said APS’s Vice President of Resource Management, Tammy McLeod.
In the top 10 of SEPA’s list in 2014, 72% of the utilities listed have an integrated solar capacity.
“APS’s long-term commitment to both utility scale and distributed solar played a large part in propelling Arizona to its overall second place ranking for solar growth in 2014. It’ll be exciting to see how APS leverages its other innovative programs like the new Solar Partner Program and its demand pilot to continue Arizona’s national solar leadership in 2015 and beyond,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA’s CEO and President.
Here is the roll of honour for the top 10 solar utilities in Annual Interconnections :
  • Pacific Gas and Electric (CA)
  • Southern California Edison (CA)
  • San Diego Gas and Electric Company (CA)
  • Arizona Public Service (AZ)
  • Hawaiian Electric Company (HI)
  • Xcel CO - Public Service Company of Colorado (CO)
  • National Grid (MA)
  • Long Island Power Authority (NY)
  • Salt River Project (AZ)
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (CA)
Here are the utilities who have topped in the Cumulative Solar Megawatts category:
  • Pacific Gas and Electric (CA)
  • Southern California Edison (CA)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (CA)
  • Arizona Public Service (AZ)
  • Public Service Electric & Gas Company (NJ)
  • Duke Energy Progress (NC, SC)
  • NV Energy (NV)
  • Jersey Central Power & Light (NJ)
  • National Grid (MA)
  • Xcel CO - Public Service Company of Colorado (CO)
It is to be noted that although increase in additional capacity which did not figure in SEPA’s survey was later included when the report was finalised. This did not adversely affect the rankings.