“We’ll be tapping two of Mohave County’s most abundant resources – the sun and the wind – to help us provide clean, renewable power to our customers,” said Paul Bonavia, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of UES and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “We’re excited to support the development of this new green energy resource in Arizona.”
The integrated wind and solar project is believed to be the first of its kind in North America, said Jeff Ciachurski, Chief Executive Officer of Western Wind. Once complete, the installation will expand the company’s generating capacity to a total of 45 MW through projects in Arizona and California.
“Western Wind is thrilled to take part in this historic project,” Caichurski said. “It will allow us to utilize our expertise in wind and solar generation while helping UniSource Energy Services expand its renewable energy resources.”
UES has agreed to purchase power from Western Wind Energy’s facilities over a 20-year term in a contract that will be submitted to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for review. If the contract is approved, it would help UES work toward renewable energy goals the ACC has established through Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard. The standard calls on utilities to increase their use of renewable energy each year until it represents 15 percent of their power in 2025.
UES is pursuing those goals through a combination of purchased power contracts and “distributed” resources like PV systems and solar water heaters installed at local homes and businesses. Through its popular SunShare and GreenWatts programs, UES is actively educating the community about renewable energy and offering options to customers who share the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
UniSource Energy Services provides natural gas and electric service to more than 234,000 customers across Arizona.