Arizona’s Largest Utility Ramps its Demand Response program to Pursue Carbon-Free Mission
The largest electric utility in Arizona is making strides toward a more sustainable future and it’s clear demand response is part of the plan.
Arizona Public Service (APS) is the owner and operator of the country’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity–the Palo Verde Generating Station.
Currently, the utility generates clean, reliable electricity for 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties and boasts a current energy fuel mix that is 50 percent clean.
50 percent clean energy in 2021 is impressive enough, but APS CEO Jeff Guldner sees an even cleaner future and has pledged to cease all coal-fired generation in the APS service territory by 2031 and for the utility’s fuel mix to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
To get there, APS plans to call on a generation portfolio that is 45 percent renewable in just nine years.
To help bridge the present and future, APS is counting on its own Peak Solutions demand response program to ensure its grid remains reliable when stressed with heavy electrical demand.
Launched in 2010, the Peak Solutions program engages commercial and industrial customers in voluntary energy conservation measures when demand for energy peaks on APS’s system, particularly during Arizona’s scorching summers.
The program also helps maintain lower-cost power for all customers.
As APS ramps up its drive to a carbon-free future, they’re also ramping up their demand response program and the financial rewards participating commercial and industrial organizations will earn for voluntarily reducing their electricity consumption when the demand on the APS grid is high.
The APS Peak Solutions aims to include participants both small and large evidenced by its minimum load commitment of just 10 kW instead of the more customary 50 kW minimum required by most commercial demand response programs in the US.
By not having any penalties for non-performance, another atypical demand response program parameter, APS is further making Peak Solutions attractive to organizations who have never before participated in demand response.
APS’s CEO Jeff Guldner knows that plans and programs aren’t enough to attain a sustainable future in Arizona. “Achieving and realizing the full benefits of a completely clean energy mix will take partnership,” he said in APS’s published clean energy commitment document, “It’s something for all of us, by all of us.”
To learn more about demand response and the APS Peak Solutions program, click here.