Tag Archives: APS

Cut Energy Cost With Energy Star Program, Other Upgrades

APS will participate in Energy Imbalance Market

Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) announced today they have signed an agreement for the Phoenix-based utility to begin participation in the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) starting in October 2016.

APS customers could save $7 million to $18 million a year through EIM participation, according to an assessment by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. With APS’s participation, current EIM entities will see annual benefits accrue to them from $3 million to $6.5 million in addition to the benefits they already realize.

“We are always looking to reduce costs for our customers and we believe the Energy Imbalance Market will produce real economic benefits,” stated Tammy McLeod, Vice President of Resource Management for APS. “Joining a market that will automatically balance supply and demand for electricity every five minutes will enable APS to dispatch the least-cost resource and optimize our ability to generate electricity in the most efficient manner for our customers.”

APS expects participation in the Energy Imbalance Market will create at least three benefits:

  • Produce economic savings to APS customers through lower production costs;
  • Improve visibility and situational awareness for system operations in the Western Interconnection; and
  • Improve integration of renewable resources

The EIM allows for rebalancing supply and demand in 15-minute blocks with dispatching every five minutes before the energy is needed, instead of the traditional and less flexible one hour blocks. The real-time market finds the most efficient resources to serve the next increment of load or respond to variable renewable energy production by optimizing the grid across the entire footprint of the EIM market. Enabling utilities across the western region to share generation resources significantly lowers the cost of keeping the lights on.

“We are very pleased to make our state-of-the-art energy optimization technology available to APS, which has been serving Arizona customers for 125 years, to reduce costs for their customers.” said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. “The ISO and other EIM participants welcome APS to this regional approach to sharing resources for the benefit of all and appreciate the expertise and insights APS will bring to the Energy Imbalance Market.”

In conjunction with the Phoenix-based utility participating in the market, an APS representative will join the EIM Transitional Committee, a group responsible for proposing a long-term EIM governance structure. Additionally, APS will keep the Arizona Corporation Commission apprised of its progress in the EIM.

The ISO and PacifiCorp launched the regional EIM on November 1, 2014, and realized combined benefits of nearly $11 million in the first five months of operation (click here to read more). Currently, the EIM automatically dispatches least cost energy in real time in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Las Vegas-based NV Energy is scheduled to join EIM later this year followed in 2016 by Puget Sound Energy of Washington state. Today’s announcement marks the fourth entity to join the EIM and extending its reach across eight states.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW)

diversity

APS employees honored with nonprofit contributions

As a part of its ongoing commitment to community involvement, APS has created a community service award that honors full-time employees who have shown their dedication to the well-being of their communities through participation in a nonprofit organization.

The first two APS employees to be recognized for their community service efforts with the APS Community Service Award are Karen Dolyniuk, Manager of Treasury Operations; and Terry Ricketts, Events Manager.

Dolyniuk received a $2,500 contribution to Spotlight Youth Theater, where she has volunteered for five years, participating in set design, building and painting, costume and set changes, and serving on the fundraising committee and board of directors.

“The arts are so important and I didn’t realize that until my daughter got involved at Spotlight,” said Dolyniuk. “I have watched kids with learning disabilities, autism, depression, shyness and lack of confidence come to Spotlight and blossom into confident, outgoing, happy kids who are part of a team and realize the potential they have.”

Ricketts received a $2,500 contribution to Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he has volunteered for more than 2 years. Ricketts is involved with the APS Volunteer Clown Troupe, a group of employees, retirees and friends of APS who attend parades, hospital events, school programs and community fundraisers across the state.

“Having the understanding that everyone needs to laugh, it has been my mission in life to bring smiles and laughter to every effort undertaken,” said Ricketts. As clown Benjamin FranKlown, Ricketts educates children about electric safety and fire safety. He also teaches new volunteers how to make others laugh through the volunteer clown program.

In addition to the new community service award, APS has two programs that help employees give back to the organizations they are involved in. The Dollars for Doers program rewards employee service by making charitable contributions to the organizations where employees volunteer. Volunteers with at least 25 hours of volunteer service can apply for a contribution. The APS Financial Matching Gifts program provides matching grants to employees making personal donations of at least $50 to eligible nonprofit organizations.

In 2014, APS employees volunteered 147,000 hours valued at $3.3 million for the communities they serve, and nearly 300 APS employees serve on boards of directors throughout the state. Additional APS volunteer initiatives include Community Connection Week of Service, new hire orientation volunteer projects for all new employees, and skills-based volunteerism such as the recent partnership with Experience Matters to place nine skilled APS employees in short-term volunteer assignments for non-profits in Maricopa County. 

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW)

Photo by Laura Burnett

After Hours: Coe and Van Loo’s Ryan Weed

What started as a hobby for Coe and Van Loo Consultants President Ryan Weed has now become a way to connect with clients and coworkers. Weed has been with the design and engineering firm for 18 years, working his way up from drafter, an entry level position, to president and CEO, having been asked to step up in January of this year.

Part of a long-lasting relationship with APS, Weed has come to spend more than just business hours with some of its employees. Trying to connect with clients with potential mutual hobbies was a habit of Weed’s, and after finding out about the company’s cycling team, he joined.

The rides are often organized races for charity with money raised by employees with a company matching program in place. While rides average between 40 and 50 miles round-trip, the group mixes up its routes to keep the scenery interesting, sometimes meeting with other cycling groups to turn the group ride into a larger event.

These bigger rides offer a chance for Weed and the other riders to catch up with cyclists they don’t see often.

“It’s good to have a client that respects your work, but it’s better to have a client that respects your work and you have some sort of personal connection with,” Weed says.

Having a personal relationship with clients is just as important as having strong relationships with colleagues, he says. Weed appreciates these relationships and CVL fosters them as part of its company culture. With project teams all over the building, employee engagement is important to the company, which encourages team bonding as well as working across teams.

That’s seen in the fact that CVL has both planning and landscape architecture departments within the firm. Allowing engineers to work with the more creative people at the firm allows everyone to learn to see and understand things from another perspective.

“It helps our clients have one firm they can go to for essentially all of their project needs, which was originally the concept. It’s an old adage now: a one- stop shop for clients,” he said.

Having a multi-faceted firm is just one way Weed ensures his company adds the something extra to the work it provides. Weed prefers cycling but realizes everyone has different hobbies.

“They’ll go golfing or they’ll go to lunch or they’ll keep up with their clients in different ways that help strengthen their personal relationships,” Weed says.

freshfoods

APS donation lets Food Bank distribute perishable food

The mission of the La Paz County Food Banks is to relieve hunger, increase self- reliance, and improve the quality of life for children and families throughout La Paz County. Now, they are able to deliver on this goal better than ever thanks to a $7,000 donation by APS, which funded the purchase of coolers to store perishable food items.

Thanks to the APS donation, a new reach-in cooler and walk-in cooler are being used in therecently constructed food bank serving the Salome/Wenden area. The food bank, which is located next to the community building and library, serves low and moderate income individuals and families, including seasonal farm workers. Since the addition of the coolers, the food bank has doubled the number of individuals it serves.

“In the past, we operated out of a bookmobile and distributed mainly canned or packaged goods,” said Jeanne Fuller, McMullen Valley Food Bank Coordinator. “We are able to receive, store and distribute significantly more perishable food like fresh produce, dairy and meat. Without the caring support of APS, we wouldn’t have been able to serve 500 families in the first quarter of this year, which is double the families served during the same period last year.”

La Paz County Food Banks provides food boxes in Quartzsite, Parker Cibola, Ehrenberg, Bouse, Salome and Wenden. La Paz County manages these food banks with part-time manager at each location and dedicated volunteers.

Arizona State Credit Union Awards Scholarships

APS established Ed And Verma Pastor Scholarship

As part of APS’s commitment to Latino education, the company pledged $250,000 Wednesday to establish the Ed and Verma Pastor Legacy Scholarship, which will be administered through the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Arizona Emerging Leaders Initiative. The contribution will help provide scholarships to Latino students majoring in a STEM or a Public Policy field at any public university or college in Arizona.

Supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other education programs became the APS Foundation’s focus in 2012. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona students have a low proficiency ranking in those subjects in comparison to the rest of the country. The bureau states that of the 30 fastest-growing occupations projected through 2016, more than half will require mastery within the STEM subjects, making Arizona’s ranking an issue for the future of high paying jobs in the state.

“We want to build on the commitment to education shown by Ed and Verma, recognize them as strong role models, and instill their spirit of public service in our youth,” said Don Brandt, Chairman, President and CEO of APS, in announcing the pledge at the Chicanos Por La Causa 46th Anniversary dinner Thursday evening. “I invite other business leaders to join APS in honoring the Pastors by supporting this program and its commitment to Arizona’s Latino students.”

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched the $3 million “Prosperity through Excellence Campaign” in 2013 with an emphasis on increasing economic opportunities for Latinos in Arizona. The Arizona Emerging Leaders Initiative is the Education Pillar of the campaign and is aimed at expanding the path toward college access and career success for young Latinos.

2012 Employee Appreciation Dinner

D-backs host APS Green Game on Earth Day Wednesday

The Arizona Diamondbacks, in partnership with Arizona Public Service (APS), have teamed up for the sixth annual APS Green Game, which will be held on Earth Day this Wednesday.  The goal of the event is to educate fans on how to become more energy efficient.

In support of all the green efforts on Wednesday, all electric vehicles will receive free parking in the Chase Field Garage.  During the game, the APS Green Team will collect recyclables in between each inning throughout the stadium and fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #APSGreenGame to see their energy-efficient social media posts on dbTV. As fans leave the stadium after the game, the D-backs and APS will hand out 10,000 CFL light bulbs. During the APS Green Game, the D-backs will purchase green energy from APS to power Chase Field. The total average consumption for the game will be approximately 238,000 kilowatt hours (kWh).

The D-backs are constantly seeking ways to be more energy efficient and more sustainable. Some of the top practices are highlighted by the following:

• Hosted the first-ever Zero-Waste Spring Training game in Arizona on March 13, 2014 at Salt River Fields to bring awareness to recycling and composting

• In 2014, the D-backs replaced fluorescent lighting along the main concourse with energy-efficient LED lighting that reduced the main concourse lighting power consumption by 60 percent.

• Fans with electric powered vehicles can charge their cars at one of the three electric car charging stations located at the northwest corner of 4th Street and Jackson at every game this season.

• The D-backs and Levy Restaurants donated four tons of leftover food after games in 2014 to Church on the Street, an equivalent of 7,500 meals for people in need in the Phoenix community.

• The APS Solar Pavilion, a 17,280 square-foot shade structure that generates 100,000 kWh of solar energy annually, enough electricity to power the lights at Chase Field for 11 home games.

Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets for the game at www.dbacks.com/earthday and $2 from each ticket will benefit Phoenix Revitalization Corporation.

Trilogy at Vistancia, solar homes - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

APS asks to increase solar access fee

APS requested today that the Arizona Corporation Commission increase the grid access charge established by the Commission in November 2013 from 70 cents per kilowatt – or approximately $5 per month – to $3 per kilowatt, or roughly $21 per month for future residential solar customers. Existing rooftop solar customers would be grandfathered under the agreements they originally signed.

Highlights of the request:

  • The ACC concluded in 2013 that $21 per month would be an appropriate charge, but initially set the charge at $5 per month with the acknowledgement that it could be changed in the future.
  • Future rooftop solar customers would have the option to choose a demand-based rate and avoid the grid access charge
  • Future rooftop solar customers would still save on their electric bills
  • APS is partnering with Arizona-based solar installers to grow the rooftop solar market
  • The request results in no additional revenue for APS

In its 2013 decision, the ACC found that the existing pricing model for rooftop solar customers was “defective” and “unfair” to non-solar customers. Commissioners concluded that a monthly charge of $3 per kilowatt would be “reasonable” to cover the cost to operate and maintain the electric grid, but decided to move carefully, begin with a smaller charge of 70 cents per kilowatt and monitor the issue. The ACC anticipated that adjustments might need to be made before the next APS rate case, when it can consider comprehensive rate design. The APS request simply asks the ACC to now implement its 2013 decision.

The APS proposal would not fully resolve the cost shift and is intended to be an interim solution until the issue is addressed in the next APS rate case or another proceeding.

“The growth of rooftop solar doesn’t lessen the need for the grid,” said APS Chairman, President and CEO Don Brandt. “In fact, it’s just the opposite. The continued growth of rooftop solar depends on a modern grid that supports the two-way flow of electricity, accommodates the highly variable nature of solar power while maintaining reliability and backs up solar power with fast-starting, flexible conventional power sources.”

If the Commission approves the request, future APS customers who choose rooftop solar will still save about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour of solar they produce.

Solar customers also have an option to enroll in the Combined Advantage rate plan, an existing plan open to all APS residential customers that includes time-of-use pricing with a demand charge. The demand charge helps pay for the grid and gives customers control because the charge is tied to a customer’s energy usage during peak hours. Customers who add solar and enroll in this rate plan are not subject to the grid access charge.

Since 2013, the solar market in APS’s service territory has continued to see high activity. Almost 8,000 customers installed rooftop solar systems in the APS service territory in 2014, the highest total ever in one year for the state’s largest electric utility. Currently, APS has more than 30,000 residential rooftop solar customers.

In addition to its innovative APS Solar Partner program, which will add solar to about 1,500 customer homes this year, APS will continue efforts to expand the rooftop solar market. The company is working with the Arizona Solar Deployment Alliance, a group representing local solar installers, to develop pilot projects that offer both new opportunities for customers to go solar and for APS and industry to partner on important research.

Contrary to the common misperception that rooftop solar customers are “off the grid,” they actually depend on electricity and other services from the grid 24 hours a day: in the morning to power appliances before the sun comes up, in the middle of the day to send excess energy back to the system and to enable major appliances (such as air conditioners) to turn on and off, on cloudy or rainy days, when their homes use more energy than their panels can provide and at night.

“If you don’t use the grid, you shouldn’t have to pay for it, but if you do, you should pay your fair share. And today, virtually everyone uses the grid,” said Marc Romito, APS Manager for Renewable Energy.

energy.bill

Pinnacle West declares quarterly dividend

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation’s Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of $0.595 per share of common stock, payable on March 2, 2015, to shareholders of record on February 2, 2015.

Pinnacle West Capital Corp., an energy holding company based in Phoenix, has consolidated assets of about $14 billion, nearly 6,400 megawatts of generating capacity and about 6,400 employees in Arizona and New Mexico. Through its principal subsidiary, Arizona Public Service, the Company provides retail electricity service to nearly 1.2 million Arizona homes and businesses. For more information about Pinnacle West, visit the Company’s website at pinnaclewest.com.

skate

CitySkate is back! Ice rink opens Saturday

For the fifth year in a row, close to 100,000 holiday revelers will descend on CityScape Phoenix to take part in the 10 weeks of CitySkate, the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the Valley that is bigger than ever and dramatically placed in the center of Central Avenue.

The ice rink this year has been significantly upgraded to a 30 percent larger rink than last year with 5,442 square-feet of real ice, a Christmas tree placed in the center of the rink and hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Also new this year is a complimentary photo booth for skaters to capture their CitySkate memories.

The rink, presented by APS, will be open daily from Nov. 22 through Feb. 2 with special events happening many days of the week

The holidays will officially kick-off at CityScape Phoenix with a tree lighting ceremony and fun for the whole family on Nov. 29.

For those looking to extend their holiday festivities, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering a “Stay & Skate” package that includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, 15 percent off the best available rate starting from $129 per night, two tickets to CitySkate and two custom Hotel Palomar branded beanies. Use rate code “Skate” when booking at http://www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or by calling 602-253-6633.

CitySkate at CityScape Phoenix
Nov. 22 through Feb. 2
Day Session: 11am – 1:30pm (Daily). Night Session: 4pm – 11pm (Sun.– Fri.), 4pm – Midnight (Sat.)
Kids and Adults – $12 each
Military, Kids Under 5, Seniors – $6 each
College Students (with valid student ID) and groups of 10 or more – $10 each
Ice rink rental is available for private parties and events. Contact (602) 772-3900.
Visit www.cityskatephx.com to purchase tickets and for a list of holiday hours and closures. Admission includes skate rental and unlimited skating all day.

City of Phoenix Holiday Kick-Off and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 29
3pm – 11pm (Santa Claus arrives at 4pm, Tree Lighting at 6pm)
The holiday tree lighting ceremony begins at 6pm with Mayor Greg Stanton and his family lighting the tree. There will be “Frozen”-themed ice skating performances, sledding with real snow in Patriots Square, live music performances, photos with Santa and public ice skating following the tree lighting.

Skate with Howler from the Arizona Coyotes
Every Monday from 7-8pm
Beginning Nov. 24, join Howler from the Arizona Coyotes every Monday night!

Tuesday Theme Days
11/25: Red Nose Day. 12/2: White Christmas. 12/9: Elf Day. 12/16: Ugly Sweater Day. 12/23: Santa Skate (Bad Santa after 8pm).
Every Tuesday, guests are encouraged to dress up as part of that week’s theme for a chance to win prizes. To enter, just take a photo at the photo booth and a winner will be picked the following day. The first 100 skaters will receive fun giveaways based on the theme. Movies will be projected on the ice and soundtracks will be played while skaters circle the ice.

Learn to Skate with the Arizona Coyotes
Dec. 3, Dec. 7 and Jan. 21
5-6pm and 6-7pm
Skate lessons with Coyotes Hockey Development Team
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online.

Adult Skate
Every Saturday from Nov. 22 through Jan. 31
9pm – midnight
DJs, games and prizes and Copper Blues selling hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

Photos with Santa
Saturday’s from Nov. 29 – Dec. 20
Nov. 29: 4:30 – 8pm
Dec. 6: 2 – 5pm
Dec. 13:  6 – 9pm
Dec. 20: 9am- noon

Skater Discounts from CityScape Tenants
All season long, skaters who visit CitySkate can show their wristband to receive a special discount at the following locations:
• 10 percent off your bill at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, Copper Blues, Squid Ink Sushi.
• 20 percent off any service at V’s Barbershop.
• Free shoe rental when you bowl at Lucky Strike Lanes
• Free fountain beverage with the purchase of any pizza at Pizza Studio
• $3 glass of red or white wine and a free cookie with the purchase of a hot chocolate at The Corner

For more information about CityScape Phoenix’s CitySkate, visit www.cityskatephx.com or call 602-772-3900. Ample and convenient underground parking is available.

Cholla

APS proposes compromise for Cholla Power Plant

The coal-fired Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City, Ariz., will close its 260-megawatt Unit 2 by April 2016 and stop burning coal at the other APS-owned units (1 and 3) by the mid-2020s if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves a compromise proposal offered by APS, the plant’s owner. APS also will ask the Arizona Corporation Commission to approve the plan.

APS made the proposal with the understanding that it would not be required to install expensive emission control equipment on the units to comply with current rules under the agency’s Regional Haze program. The environmental benefits of this proposal are greater in the long term than the benefits that would have resulted from adding the emissions control equipment.

“This proposal provides the best outcome, allowing Cholla to continue to operate, while meeting environmental requirements,” said David Hansen, APS Vice President of Fossil Generation. “This solution balances several needs — supporting the local economy the best way possible; the need to provide reliable, low-cost generation resources for customers; and complying with federal rules and regulations.”

In 2010, APS was notified that Unit 2 needed to upgrade its scrubbers and add a super-sized sophisticated air filter called a “baghouse” to meet the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. In 2012, the EPA published a federal implementation plan, which overrides certain parts of Arizona’s plan to deal with regional haze. The federal plan requires Cholla Unit’s 2 and 3 to add expensive Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology used to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

“When the EPA issued its final rules to manage regional haze, we told the agency that the cost of adding SCRs along with the other technologies required to meet the mercury rules placed the unit at risk of being uneconomic to operate,” said Hansen. “We are clearly aware of the potential impact closing Unit 2 may have on the neighboring communities and arrived at this decision only after carefully weighing the options.”

By closing Unit 2, mercury emissions are anticipated to decline by 51 percent, particulates by 34 percent, nitrogen oxides by 32 percent, and carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide by 23 percent. There would be additional environmental benefits after units 1 and 3 stop burning coal. APS intends to continue working closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality on environmental issues.

According to Hansen, there were three alternative approaches – investing hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment, converting the entire plant to natural gas by 2016, or closing the plant.

If EPA approves the APS compromise, it will save more than $350 million in potential costs that otherwise would be passed along to customers for emission control upgrades.

Potential job losses will likely be mitigated through normal attrition and retirements. Today the plant has 249 employees with an annual payroll of $29 million. It pays approximately $15 million in state, local and federal taxes annually.

The unit has been in service since 1978.

APS has been closing older, less reliable units and replacing them with newer, cleaner and more efficient sources of energy. This includes closing three units at the Four Corners Power Plant in Farmington, N.M., and two units at the Ocotillo Power Plant in Tempe, Ariz.

From an accounting perspective, APS intends to reclassify the remaining book value as a regulatory asset.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

tamale

Tamale Festival coming November 15th

On November 15th, 2014, the 79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner will move into its new event location at The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and present an exciting day of family-friendly festival activities.

Presented by APS and organized by Friendly House, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that has proudly served the local community since 1920, their annual Tamale Dinner is the longest continuously running fundraiser in Arizona. Now with a new location and challenge to expand the event offerings, Friendly House hopes to bring a day of fun to downtown Phoenix from noon to 10pm. “Last year, we ventured into a partnership with 16 Valley Mayors to compete in the inaugural ‘Battle of the Tamales,’” says Lourdes Sierra, Tamale Dinner Chair. “This year, we are seeking Mayoral support again, only now with even more entertainment for attendees of all ages.”

Event committee members are striving to secure the participation of approximately 12 Valley Mayors, who will each in turn identify a selected hometown restaurant to showcase their tamale offerings to event-goers. These vendors will sell tamales of various types (chicken, pork, beef, etc.) along with side items to attendees. A selected number of restaurants offering unique twists on traditional tamales will be invited to participate in the festival as well.

At the event, a main stage will be erected at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren, facing a large grass area where attendees will be encouraged to lounge all day to watch bands, dance troupes, and other entertainment in between bites of tamales and related Mexican fare. A beer garden will be set up under a picturesque cluster of trees, adjacent to another large grass area where a majority of the tamale vendors will be positioned. VIPs will enjoy access to a lovely tiered promenade of the Arizona Center, where a private bar, catering stations, and other surprises await.

The Friendly House will raise funds through sales of tickets, beverages, sponsorships, and a portion of tamale sales. Collectively, the money raised from the Tamale Dinner & Festival will provide tools and resources for individuals of all ages that participate in their stellar programs which fall within four pillars: Education (Helping Children & Adults Succeed in Education), Family Services (Improving Families Health & Wellness), Immigration (Providing Legal Service, Outreach and Advocacy), and Workforce Development (Increasing Financial Stability and Workforce Readiness).

energy policies

Solar and Other Ways to Save on Electricity Bills

In 2013, Arizona earned a new nickname -“the solar state”- by participating in heated debates regarding net metering and the growing solar electric industry. As expected, the utility companies put up a fight, which resulted in a minor victory allowing them to charge a small fee on new residential solar electric installations.

But the power companies cannot hold out forever, as solar power and other alternative sources of energy continue to gain popularity with consumers. Unfortunately there is still a long road ahead for everyone involved in solar power initiatives. Currently, Arizona Public Service Co. and others offer only a few renewable energy initiatives. To push the state from 2nd to 1st place in solar and renewable energy usage, utility companies should offer users the option to choose which percentage of their electricity is channeled from solar or wind energy, as opposed to other, nonrenewable sources. Many North American companies already do, and if consumers can find them — often through comparison websites — everybody wins.

Arizona has the sun to thank for its “solar state” title, but even if it’s a sunny day there’s still plenty you can do at home to pitch in, too. Take the first step and reevaluate the power usage within your own home. There are many new devices on the market that allow homeowners to track and discover just how much power is drawn from their electrical outlets, and adjust it accordingly. Not only will you discover which devices are “energy hogs”, and save money in the process, but you’ll reduce your home’s overall carbon emissions as well. Monitoring your home’s energy needs allows you to be a smarter, more environmentally friendly, consumer. Read on to learn more about the devices that can help you track your power consumption safely and easily:

TED Energy Detective: TED Energy Detective is one of the most highly comprehensive, and easily installable, energy monitoring systems. The product features a real-time display detailing exactly how many watts your home is using, with information on the hourly cost and continuous feedback on your energy use patterns. There are many versions and models of the TED home system, some of which come with their own wireless display, and others that are tracked using your mobile device or computer.

Google Nest Thermostat (Second Generation): There are smart thermostats, and then there are thermostats like the Nest. The Nest is more than programmable, it’s intuitive, which means that it will learn your schedule and program itself. An ordinary smart thermostat might remember to lower temperature control while residents are at work or school, but the Nest will go one step further and focus temperature control on the most used rooms, automatically adjust for sleeping temperatures. The device can even sense while you’re away on its own, due to the addition of a motion detector.

Eco-Friendly, Smart Appliances: For a while, energy efficient appliances were expensive and few and far between. Now, however, LG is one company that boasts an entire line of smart appliances. Examples include a smart refrigerator (the Smart ThinQ), an ultra-fast, eco-friendly washing machine, and a washing machine with Wi-Fi Smart Diagnosis (the Smart ThinQ Washer, which would reserve energy-intense cycles for off-peak hours, for example). LG isn’t the other company investing in the eco-trend, either. Energy Star certified appliances are available through almost every major preferred company or brand.

Power Adaptors and Smart Power Strips: Perhaps the most well-known and easiest tools to apply are power adapters, like those created by the company Green Plug, which limit the amount of energy over-charging consumer devices. If Green Plug’s adapters are in use, the supply of energy will be cut off after the device has received all the energy it needs to charge and operate. Likewise, smart power strips will limit any “vampire” charges sucked from appliances left plugged in.

iTech SolarCharger 906: Solar panels and solar technology at home is already popular in Arizona – but what about on the go? The iTech SolarCharger is just one option that allows electronics to be charged with the power of the sun. The iTech SolarCharger does take about 22 hours to power up (perhaps leave it on the deck on weekend day, but once it does it can easily charger phones and other electronics. The tool even comes with various adaptors, so homeowners don’t have to give up their solar preferences on the go.

While we wait for solar energy to be a cheaper, more feasible option on a large scale basis, there are many ways to cut down on electricity costs are home. A good energy monitoring system will make you aware of the need to conserve our energy resources. The accurate digital displays of the products listed above (and others) will give you new insight into how much electricity you consume, and where you can cut back each month.

veterans

Department of Defense honors APS

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced today that Arizona Public Service (APS) of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of 15 recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the Department’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. This year’s recipients were selected from 2,864 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going far beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees.

“I’m honored to announce the recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “Guardsmen and Reservists across the nation rely on strong bonds with their civilian employers. By recognizing these 15 exceptional employers, the Department of Defense celebrates the contributions made by American employers to our Citizen Warriors. I commend these extraordinary employers for their unwavering commitment to service members and their families.”

APS was nominated by Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Michael Rich from the 13th Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division/Adjutant General. He highlighted the company’s “Troops to Energy Jobs” initiative, which accelerates the hiring of Guardsmen and Reservists and provides support to those employees and their families. APS has created an employee-led group, VETRN (Veteran Engagement Transition Retention Network), that promotes corporate support and recognition for members of the Guard and Reserve. In addition to sponsoring military and veteran organizations, the company also maintains contact with deployed service members, sending care packages overseas and offering assistance to families at home.

The 2014 Freedom Award recipients below will be honored at a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 26:

Arizona Public Service
Phoenix, Arizona

AT&T
Dallas, Texas

Capital One
McLean, Virginia

CH2M-WG Idaho
Idaho Falls, Idaho

General Mills, Inc.
Golden Valley, Minnesota

J.G. Management Systems, Inc.
Grand Junction, Colorado

Los Angeles Fire Department
Los Angeles, California

N.H. Department of Environmental Services
Concord, New Hampshire

PNC Bank
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Shofner Vision Center
Nashville, Tennessee

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Memphis, Tennessee

Triumph Pharmaceuticals Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri

UNC Health Care
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Washoe County School District
Reno, Nevada

Zions Bank
Salt Lake City, Utah

firefighter

APS Fund provides grants to first responders

First responder agencies in Arizona now have the opportunity to apply for grants through a new APS Fund within the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The fund, seeded with $50,000 from APS, is available to agencies within APS’s service territory throughout the state and provides the opportunity to procure much needed life-saving equipment.

“We have always been supportive of our first responders and we value the lifesaving work they do every day,” said Tina Marie Tentori, Executive Director of APS Corporate Giving. “We are excited to partner with Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to help ensure our first responders have the latest technology and equipment to save even more lives.”

Interested agencies can apply for funding from the APS Fund starting on July 1, 2014 through September 5, 2014. Grant applications can be completed via FirehouseSubs.com/Foundation. Applicants will be notified of their status after Sept 17, 2014.

“Since 2005, we have awarded more than $237,000 in grants to Arizona based first responders and we are thrilled that APS made this investment in their community to expand our reach even further,” said Robin Peters, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director.

solar

APS names McCarthy Supplier of the Year

McCarthy Building Companies was recently recognized by APS as an outstanding business partner at the 2014 APS Supplier of the Year Awards. In total, six companies were selected representing various supply chain-managed categories. McCarthy was recognized in the “Major Projects” category.

McCarthy was selected out of more than 4,000 different APS suppliers through a nomination process led by APS employees. The nominees were evaluated on their support of APS’s values such as commitment to sustainability, active involvement in the community and a focus on health, safety and environmental concerns. Companies were also assessed on customer service and overall performance.

“Our business partners are a vital resource in helping us provide safe and affordable energy for our customers,” said Barbara Gomez, APS Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer. “APS selected McCarthy and five other companies out of thousands of suppliers not only for their outstanding customer service and ongoing commitment to our company’s core values, but also for setting an example that we hope other suppliers will emulate.”

Earlier this year, McCarthy completed the installation of a large-scale 14-megawatt (MW) solar project in Yuma County called Hyder II for APS, which owns and operates the plant. In addition to Hyder II, McCarthy also completed the 18-MW APS Cotton Center Solar Station in Gila Bend, Ariz., and the 20-MW APS Chino Valley Solar Plant in Chino Valley, Ariz.

“We’ve been fortunate to work on three large-scale solar projects with APS, which is rapidly expanding its solar portfolio and solar leadership in the state,” said Scott Canada, Director of the Renewable Energy team at McCarthy Building Companies. “Our system engineering and construction expertise has helped APS harness the power of the sun and turn it into clean, renewable energy. We are honored to be recognized for our efforts by APS.”

To date, McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy team, based in Phoenix, has completed several large-scale solar installations across the desert Southwest representing a combined capacity of more than 70 MW of solar energy production. The division was named to Solar Power World’s Top 250 solar contractors list (rank #23) in September 2013.

solar

APS Seeks Renewable Energy Projects from Solar

Arizona Public Service Co. announces a Request for Proposal (RFP) from solar developers and installers to construct two 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic facilities – financed by APS through the company’s AZ Sun Program.

The RFP began on June 16, and interested parties are encouraged to participate in a bidder’s webinar on June 23. Additional information about the webinar and the RFP is available online at aps.com/rfp.

Projects must utilize commercially proven technology. When completed in 2015, the new solar facilities – one located on Luke Air Force Base and the other to be built in partnership with the City of Phoenix – will be owned and operated by APS. These facilities will join seven other AZ Sun Projects that are already online or under construction, totaling 170 MW of solar energy for Arizona – enough to power more than 42,000 APS customers.

With the AZ Sun Program, APS is investing in the development of solar photovoltaic power plants across Arizona. The program allows APS to partner with third-party developers and equipment providers to design and construct the facilities, which increase the opportunity for more developers to participate since project financing is provided by APS.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

Solar Power

Luke AFB Leases Land to APS for Solar Plant

Luke Air Force Base and the state’s largest electric utility provider, Arizona Public Service, have partnered on a new solar power plant to be built on 100 acres of land located on the Base. Construction of the 10-megawatt facility – part of the APS AZ Sun Program – is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

APS is leasing the land from Luke AFB as part of an energy Enhanced Use Lease. Energy EULs are a partnership between the Air Force and public entities to encourage the development of renewable energy – helping the Air Force to save money while meeting congressionally established Air Force goals. APS will lease the land for 30 years from Luke AFB for $6 million.

Through the APS AZ Sun Program, the utility is investing in photovoltaic power plants across Arizona. The project at Luke AFB will join eight other AZ Sun projects that are already online or in some stage of development, totaling 170 MW of solar energy for Arizona – enough to power more than 42,000 APS customers.

“Our partnership with Luke Air Force Base for this project is great for Arizona,” said Tammy McLeod, APS Vice President of Resource Management. “The solar plant will be highly visible and will set a great example of Arizona’s solar leadership for people from all over the world who live, work and train on Base. Plus, APS is proud to support the Air Force and bring more solar energy to our customers.”

The solar plant will generate enough energy to power 2,500 Arizona homes, and will prevent the emission of 12,000-15,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year, according to Robert Worley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron installation management flight chief.

“It continues a great partnership that we have with APS,” Worley said.

More than 200 local jobs will be created during the construction of the plant, which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. The facility will be operational, serving APS customers by summer 2015.

bcgs

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale announces new board

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale is pleased to announce the newest members to the non-profit’s Board of Governors:

  • Lee Nickloy – APS
  • Prescott Pohl – Snell & Wilmer
  • Kathleen Preston – Cox Communications
  • Ryan Rayburn – Lincoln Financial Advisors
  • Tom Traylor – Wells Fargo

“We are very thankful to have this great group of individuals serve on our board,” said Steve Davidson, President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “These dedicated community leaders generously give their time and professional expertise in effort to make sure that the needs of our local youth are being met.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, celebrating its 60th Anniversary throughout 2014, empowers 17,800 youth of all ages and backgrounds to develop the qualities needed to reach their full potential as productive, responsible citizens. The Club provides a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship and athletics, and high-impact youth development programs during critical non-school hours. Clubs are located in cities and on Native American lands in the greater Scottsdale area and promote academic success, positive character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. For more information, visit www.bgcs.org.

Marina Heights is a development partnership between Ryan Companies and Sunbelt Holdings. Fellow Valley Partnership member Cushman & Wakefield was awarded the leasing assignment.

A valley of partners

Partner-to-partner transactions building up the valley
one project at a time

When Valley Partnership was founded 27 years ago, it was on the principles of responsible development. It has since grown to thousands of members throughout the commercial real estate community — from subcontractors to some of the largest developers in Arizona.

Eastmark includes a partnership between DMB Associates and Marham COntracting Co.

Eastmark includes a partnership between DMB Associates and Markham Contracting Co.

“In 2014 and beyond, Valley Partnership developer companies are the leaders of almost every major commercial real estate project announced, including Marina Heights, the numerous announcements of deals at Eastmark, and Liberty Center at Rio Salado,” says Valley Partnership President and CEO Richard Hubbard.

The members have rallied behind the idea of partnership, Hubbard says.

“These developers use Valley Partnership partners for all construction disciplines related to the project including planning, design, architecture, general contracting, engineering and even law and accounting,” Hubbard says. “Many of those ‘partner-to-partner’ transactions have come from long-standing relationships created through Valley Partnership. I would say that every level of partner in Valley Partnership, from board member to sole proprietor, is participating in the current commercial real estate building activity in the Valley.”

Some companies, such as Evergreen Devco, take the partner-to-partner very seriously.

Valley Partnership Chair of the Board Doug Leventhal is the principal and COO of Evergreen Devco. Though Evergreen has focused much of its recent work in Denver, the company finds exclusive value in partnership with fellow VP members for Arizona projects.

“I can say that for all our Arizona work, we tend to work exclusively with the companies that see the value in Valley Partnership and either are active members or active sponsors,” Leventhal says. “Our general contractors, for example, need to be members or sponsors almost as a prerequisite to getting our business. Our architects, engineers, attorneys and title companies need to be members of Valley Partnership — or have a good reason why they are not! It’s important to Evergreen that we collectively support Valley Partnership since we all benefit from its mission to promote responsible development in the Valley. We are all connected in this unique way.”

Liberty Center at Rio Salado is a partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Markham Contracting Co.

Liberty Center at Rio Salado is a partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Markham Contracting Co.

That unique connection, as DMB Associates President Charley Freericks sees it involves Valley Partnership’s advocacy role for developers as well as a genuine passion for making Arizona a great place to live.

“Valley Partnership understands that real estate isn’t the only driver of the economy,” says Freericks. “We are the beneficiaries of a strong and growing economy and it’s in our interest to make this a great place to live.”

Freericks, who has been a member for 10 years, served on the board of directors, was chairman in 2009, and has sat on multiple committees.

Most of DMB Associates’ partners at the developers’ 6,000-acre masterplanned community of Eastmark – and around the Valley – are Valley Partnership members, Freericks says.

“Over the years, we have worked with so many contractors, consultants and service providers who are members it would be hard to name them all,” he says. “In fact it might be difficult to find any that aren’t members.”

Valley Partnership has multiple avenues for paving those partnerships. There are 10 committees, including one for an annual golf tournament and a community building project. One of the most popular and frequent member events, is the Friday Morning Breakfasts — a monthly morning panel discussion about an industry trend featuring local experts.

Freericks reflected on a breakfast about the impact and trade partnership Arizona has with Canada as a particularly helpful one for his masterplanned communities of Eastmark and Victory at Verrado, which target Canadian homebuyers.

“Valley Partnership attracts important speakers and hosts debates of candidates for state and local offices which helps me make better informed decisions,” he says. “The Valley Partnership advocacy team was a huge help to the Fighter Country Partnership efforts to bring the F-35 mission to Luke. This will impact our economy for generations to come. Valley Partnership’s role as the champion for moderate regulation has impacted all of our properties over the years and will continue to do so.”

Heather Markham, vice president of Markham Contracting Co., says her company has been a member of Valley Partnership since 1992 and is also a Stewardship Sponsor. Markham has attended breakfasts for the last five years and is one of the students in Valley Partnership’s inaugural Young Advocates Program. As a co-chair of the Community Project Committee, Markham says she also appreciate’s Valley Partnership’s commitment to networking and giving back to the community.

“I believe this involvement in the community is critical personally as well as professionally for everyone,” she says.

Markham has been self performing grading, paving and wet utilities civil infrastructure in the Southwest since 1977. Though Valley Partnership has only been around since 1987, Markham says the company has worked with many current Valley Partnership companies for nearly four decades. Partners include DMB Associates (Verrado and Eastmark), Macerich (Sonoran Crossing), Sunbelt Holdings (Vistancia), APS, Grayhawk Development, Lennar, Vintage Partners, MT Builders, HilgartWilson, Pulte, Atwell, Dibble Engineering, Wood Patel & Associates, Hoskin & Ryan, Siteworks, Speedie & Associates, Trench Shore Rentals, Alliance Bank of Arizona and Cemex.

“Valley Partnership plays a very strong role in responsible development of the commercial real estate community and provides an excellent venue for all the stakeholders in the process to come together and discuss issues and concerns as well as success stories,” she says. “This promotes strong partnerships between cities, counties, towns, state, land owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers and every trade partner involved in making Arizona a great place to live and work.”

APS Hyder II solar power plant located in Hyder, Arizona.

Green development stays sunny side up

Debates over energy consumption, reduction and alternatives occur frequently in the increasingly “green” world. Arizona stands as a leader in the alternative energy market with the use of solar, geothermal energy and natural gas as alternatives to more traditional energy providers. Even through the decline of green building projects, as reported by Forbes, major companies and builders such as APS, SRP and Adolfson & Peterson (A&P) have completed large alternative energy projects in the last year.

Arizona Public Service, through the APS AZ Sun Program, and McCarthy Building Companies completed its third solar project, a large solar installation called the Hyder II in Yuma County last year. It uses more than 71,000 single-axis tracking photovoltaic panels to generate 14 megawatts of solar energy, which is enough to serve 3,500 Arizona homes. The project set a record year for APS with 410 megawatts of solar power and represented the largest annual increase in solar capacity, nearly tripling the total from 2012. APS contains more than 750 megawatts of solar capacity on its system after investing nearly $1B in solar projects, and serves more than 185,000 Arizona homes. Another large solar project built last year is the Fry’s Marketplace PowerParasol, which shades 74,800 SF, including 220 parking spaces, driveways, aisles, grocery cart stations and sidewalks. It diminishes the heat-island effect, enables light passage to allow the growth of plants and generates 1,013,140 kilowatt hours of solar energy.
aps-quote
Geothermal energy is another popular source of renewable energy in Arizona. Both SRP and A&P developed geothermal projects in 2013. Geothermal energy produces electricity from naturally occurring geothermal fluid, and steam forms when production wells access superheated water reservoirs thousands of feet beneath the Earth’s surface. As opposed to wind and solar that are affected by the weather, geothermal is a more reliable source of renewable energy. SRP purchased 50 megawatts of geothermal energy from CalEnergy. The project will annually offset 460 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of 40,000 cars. SRP also has an agreement to purchase geothermal energy from the Hudson Ranch facility in California and Utah’s Cove Fort plant.

A&P’s latest geothermal project is Lookout Mountain Elementary School where it constructed a closed-loop system that allows the ground’s heat to warm the building during the winter and reverse the process in the summer by transferring heat back into the ground. The system does not use any chemicals, untreated water or Freon. A&P expect it to last up to 30 years and the underground wells to last up to 75 years. The classrooms’ energy consumption will be reduced by 40 percent and the low maintenance and operations costs will save the school district up to $1.8M over the next 20 years.

Although there are many green projects occurring, there is a decline in contracts. Bryan Dunn, senior vice president of A&P, states that “the disconnect between the demand and not seeing as many ‘green contracts’ is that there are more and more building owners viewing a formal certification process as expensive and lengthy. Tight budgets don’t allow for the upfront costs associated with a formal green certification. Instead, they are looking to incorporate the energy saving and durability aspects of green building into their projects without a formal certification of the building.”

Dunn also says solar technology may be played out. He is seeing trends with technology, such as waste-to-energy, bio-mass and bio-gas and geothermal energy. “Clients are considering several types of alternative technologies on single projects…Utilizing multiple solutions also keeps overall and total project costs down, benefiting everyone in the long run,” he adds.

Besides the cost of green projects, Scott Canada from McCarthy explains that projects may be slowing because of supply and demand. “There may be a near-term slowing of new projects while Arizona’s energy consumption begins to grow again, with the improving economy. Energy, including renewables, often cycles between a period of expansion and pause,” he says, adding that solar costs are continuing to drop, making it an attractive energy source, especially with the abundance of sunshine in Arizona. In its latest forecast, APS predicts renewable energy, gas in particular, will double in Arizona by 2029.

8100WBuckeye Road, WEB

Nuclear response center in Tolleson sells

Commercial Properties, Inc. announced the sale of a 72,570 SF industrial property located at 8100 W. Buckeye Rd. in Tolleson, Ariz.  Andy Jaffe, SIOR of CPI’s Tempe office represented the buyer, Barnhart Crane and Rigging Company, in this transaction.  The masonry building was built in 1998 and is a single tenant building near the corner of 83rd Avenue and Buckeye Road as part of a regional nuclear response center.

Andy Jaffe

Andy Jaffe

This center was established in response to the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011 where power was lost to effectively cool the reactor.  The Phoenix center will be capable of getting the necessary equipment on-site using air and ground transportation within 24 hours to any site in America.

Randy Edington, executive vice president and chief nuclear officer at Arizona Public Service Company, which operates the Palo Verde nuclear facility commented, “Equipment from the regional response centers will enable all nuclear plant operators to protect their reactors and used fuel storage pools until normal power and cooling systems are restored.  This is an addition to other measures, including built-in safety systems, the use of on-site portable emergency equipment, and portable equipment and materials on hand at all 62 nuclear energy facilities that can be utilized and shared during an emergency.”

Each facility contains five sets of equipment including portable backup generators, pumps, standardized couplings and hoses to be deployed into the field, and will undergo regular testing for operability.

According to Andy Jaffe, SIOR, “Their final decision to occupy was the large amount of land on-site, and overhead doors that aligned for ease of ingress and egress of their equipment.  Also, it was a clear spanned building, which permits movement of their equipment, and proximity to the airport and freeway accessibility were key factors.”

The sale was valued at $3.9 million.

baby_trees

Nonprofit giving away drought-tolerant trees

The Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA), a small nonprofit organization, has big plans to help homeowners reduce energy bills and improve air quality: give away 2,000 drought-tolerant shade trees by the end of June and 100,000 trees over the next ten years.

Through partnerships with APS and SRP, Valley homeowners completing a tree-planting education workshop designed by a certified arborist can take home two free 3-to-5-gallon desert adaptive, low-water, fast-growing trees per property. For details about times, locations and to register, visit www.vpaaz.org or call (602) 535-4635, Ext. 101.

The offer is only good one time for each property.

Upcoming giveaways are scheduled in Chandler, Mesa, North Scottsdale, Phoenix, Surprise and Tempe.

Workshops, organized and offered either online or in a classroom, provide information about:
 how to pick the right spot on the property to create shade for the home to reduce energy
 picking the right tree
 how to properly plant the tree in rock, grass or decomposed granite
 how to maintain the tree.

“We are the tree people,” said VPA Executive Director Jennifer Bonnett.

“We give away free trees and have for several years. Our Shade Tree program reduces energy and improves air quality. Shade trees planted on the west, east or south side of residential buildings can cut energy an average of 214 kilowatt hours per year per mature tree. Our mission is to educate and engage the entire community to create a healthier, more efficient environment. If we can add a cost-effectiveness factor to the outcome, even better.”

Bonnett said that 10,000 shade trees planted near homes would reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by about 15,000 metric tons over 30 years.

Shade Tree workshops and giveaways are scheduled throughout the year on Saturday mornings.

APS-territory workshops are scheduled at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on the dates that follow. Registration must be completed online.
 April 26: North Scottsdale Distribution, Grayhawk Elementary School, 7525 E. Grayhawk Drive, Scottsdale.
 May 10: Tempe Distribution, Skysong Center, 1475 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.
 May 17: Surprise Workshop and Distribution, Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.

SRP-territory workshops are scheduled at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Registration must be completed online.

 May 3: South Phoenix Workshop & Distribution, South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix.
 June 7: Phoenix Workshop, Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 W. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix.
 July 12: Chandler Workshop, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Williams Campus, 7360 E. Tahoe Avenue, Mesa.

For more information about the Shade Tree Program and all VPA programs, visit www.vpaaz.org.

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Report Shows Changing Arizona Energy Mix

Arizona Public Service today released its official forecast of how Arizona will meet its growing energy needs over the next 15 years. The report, called an “Integrated Resource Plan,” takes a big-picture look at Arizona’s energy future that helps APS and other stakeholders plan responsibly. The forecast identified three major trends shaping Arizona’s energy future:

* Arizona’s energy mix will be cleaner. The report predicts that energy from renewable sources will double by 2029. The fastest-growing segment within the renewable category is expected to be rooftop solar, which should triple over the same period. Savings from energy efficiency measures, which are intended to reduce customer demand, are also expected to triple by 2029.

* Natural gas will be the new energy source of choice. Because renewable energy can’t supply customers with steady, predictable energy around the clock, Arizona will need more generation from natural gas, which can start and ramp up quickly, and can provide energy reliably day or night. Over the next 15 years, natural gas is projected to surpass coal and nuclear as the largest source of electricity generation for APS customers. APS still will maintain a diverse, balanced resource portfolio to provide customers with affordable electricity, and manage exposure to fuel price volatility.

* Advanced technology will change the electricity grid. In the next 15 years, APS customers will have more choices about their energy use – smart appliances, plug-in electric vehicles, rooftop solar panels and even the possibility of battery storage. To enable these choices while ensuring safe and reliable electricity, APS is modernizing its electricity grid, making it more dynamic and flexible.

“Arizona’s energy future is bright,” said Tammy McLeod, Vice President of Resource Management for APS. “When we look into the future, we see Arizona’s growing energy needs being met with resources that are increasingly clean, diverse and innovative.”

The report paints an optimistic picture of Arizona’s economic growth. It projects that the state’s energy needs will grow 52 percent in the next 15 years. The requirement for peak demand is predicted to hit nearly 13,000 megawatts by 2029, up 60 percent from today’s peak requirement of 8,124 megawatts. Peak demand measures the amount of electricity being used when energy use is at its highest point.

The projected growth of renewable energy, combined with other actions including the recent closure of three coal-fired units at the APS-operated Four Corners Power Plant, is predicted to make the overall APS energy mix cleaner and more efficient. The report anticipates that in 2029, the APS generation portfolio will produce 14 percent less carbon dioxide and use 24 percent less water per megawatt-hour of electricity generated.

The report also envisions the need for flexible generation and a modern electricity grid. In the past, the electricity grid was like a one-way street. Electricity was generated at large, centralized power plants and delivered to customers at the flip of a switch. Today, power generation is becoming more complex and, in the case of renewable energy, unpredictable and variable based on the weather.

To ensure a steady and reliable energy supply, the report anticipates that utilities like APS will need more generating plants that can respond quickly to changes in customer demand and renewable output. For example, when cloud cover suddenly decreases production from solar sources, APS customers will need smaller, quick-starting generation that can respond within minutes to changing conditions. Power plants fueled with natural gas are better at “ramping,” as it is called, than generating sources such as nuclear and coal.

Along with a more flexible energy mix, Arizona will also need a more flexible, modern electricity grid. APS plans to invest $170 million in modern grid technology over the next five years, in addition to routine grid maintenance and upgrades. This includes installing more than 5,000 advanced devices across the electricity grid that will help APS workers keep it safe and reliable.

APS files its Integrated Resource Plan with the Arizona Corporation Commission every two years, forecasting how it will meet customers’ energy needs over a 15-year planning period.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE: PNW).

palo.verde

Palo Verde Unit 2 Ranked as Top Generator

For the 22nd consecutive year, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was the nation’s largest power producer, generating 31.4 million megawatt-hours in 2013. With this milestone, Palo Verde remains the only U.S. generating facility to ever produce more than 30 million megawatt-hours in a year – an operational accomplishment the plant has achieved on nine separate occasions.

Also in 2013, Unit 2 produced more electricity than any other reactor in the United States and was the second most productive in the world, according to industry data. The unit also achieved a 94.78 percent capacity factor, the highest of all plants in the world top 10 rankings. Capacity factor is an important measure of output and efficiency.

Unit 1 ranked third in the U.S. and seventh in the world, despite a scheduled refueling outage in spring 2013. The main purpose of a refueling outage is to replace some of the older fuel with new fuel that will produce more energy.

Unit 3, which underwent a scheduled refueling outage in fall 2013, ranked 16th in the U.S. and 28th in the world. Palo Verde’s three 1,340-megawatt (net) generating units are on an 18-month refueling cycle, with two refuelings scheduled each year – one in the spring and another in the fall.

“Our top priority is to safely and efficiently generate electricity, thereby providing APS customers and the entire southwest with clean, reliable, low-cost power,” said Randy Edington, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Arizona Public Service Co., the operator and largest owner of Palo Verde. “Once again, our employees’ steadfast focus on plant safety and overall performance improvement helped elevate Palo Verde among the nation’s best operating nuclear power facilities.”

Other 2013 accomplishments included:

Record refueling outage. For the first time ever, a planned refueling outage at Palo Verde was completed in less than 30 days. Last year’s Unit 1 refueling outage began on March 30 and was completed on April 28, 2013 – in a total time of 29 days, 18 hours. The previous shortest Palo Verde refueling outage was 31 days in fall 2012.
Outstanding simultaneous operation. Palo Verde’s three units operated simultaneously for 160 days, the second-longest continuous run in plant history. Together, the three units produced low-cost power around the clock from April 28 to Oct. 5, 2013.

Palo Verde is the largest nuclear power plant in the nation, and its three reactors are part of 100 operating units in the U.S. and 436 in the world. Its three units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean, reliable, low-cost electricity every hour – enough to serve about 4 million people across the southwestern U.S. Approximately half of the plant’s output serves Arizona customers with the remaining power spread among California, New Mexico and far west Texas. In addition to the energy produced, Palo Verde has an estimated annual economic impact of more than $1.8 billion in Arizona through taxes, salaries, purchases of materials and services, and more.

Palo Verde is operated by APS and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).