Why a balanced approach to power generation is critical to economic growth

Mar 26, 2024 | Uncategorized

Providing reliable water and power to 2 million people in America’s fifth-largest city isn’t optional – it’s critical. It keeps the Valley running, allowing people to run their businesses, live their lives, and power our economy.

This past summer, SRP saw record-breaking demand on its power system that beat previous summer demand records by more than 7% for an extended period.

It took SRP 120 years to develop the capacity to generate the resources that kept the power grid from failing during this historic summer. A key finding from our recent Integrated System Planning (ISP) process determined that we will need to double or triple our current capacity in the next decade to meet a projected 25-30% growth in electric power demand by 2030 while simultaneously becoming more sustainable.

Sustainability continues to be a key focus for SRP. We’re hard at work researching and testing the renewable generation technology of tomorrow to meet this need, such as pumped storage, hydrogen hubs, and non-lithium, long-duration energy storage. We’re also heavily investing in renewable resources like wind and solar.

However, as utilities compete for a fixed amount of these resources, the supply chain is constrained, raising costs and limiting availability. Moreover, the sheer scale and scope of the growth we’ve seen on SRP’s system from large manufacturing expansions, relocations, and new residential customers means we must balance SRP’s sustainability goals with our commitment to reliability and affordability.
Implementing a renewables-only approach in the next ten years would risk passing higher costs and reliability uncertainty along to customers. So, we’re adding proven resources like quick-start flexible natural gas while transitioning to more renewable energy resources. This helps keep Arizona businesses safe from power outages and higher bills. Flexible natural gas units are used primarily to serve spiking energy demand during the hottest days of the year when renewables and demand response programs are insufficient to cover our customers’ power needs.

As a not-for-profit utility comprised of more than 5,000 community team members who care about building a sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy future, we share the desire for a sustainable future without compromising reliability and affordability.

That’s why we are pursuing a realistic, cost-effective solution that balances these important priorities in delivering power to the Valley—reliability, affordability, and sustainability—done responsibly.

Learn more about how we plan for the future.

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving approximately 1.1 million customers. SRP provides water to about half of the Valley’s residents, delivering more than 244 billion gallons of water (750,000 acre-feet) each year, and manages a 13,000-square-mile watershed that includes an extensive system of reservoirs, wells, canals and irrigation laterals. SRP is an AAED Premier Partner and actively participates as members of the organization.