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APS to modernize Ocotillo power plant

Anyone who lives in Tempe is familiar with the unique, wiry structure that is the Ocotillo power plant. But the plant is getting a revamp to make it more effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly

The natural gas power plant is now comprised of two steam turbine generators which date back to the 1960s. These generators have become increasingly costly and difficult to maintain, so APS plans to replace them with five new gas turbines.

What this means is the facility will almost double its capacity to create energy, as well as be more efficient while doing so. APS predicts that by 2021, Arizona will need an additional 3,800 megawatts, so this plant will better meet the energy needs of Arizona’s future.

Environmentally, the new plant will require less water and will produce less emissions. It is also being built at the site of the existing Ocotillo plant, so no new land will need to be allocated for the project.

The modernization will also create construction jobs and tax revenue for the local economy.

Because of these many benefits, the Arizona Power Plant and Line Siting Committee unanimously approved the proposal for the Ocotillo modernization after a three-day hearing in mid-September.

So take a good look at the hive-like at the current Ocotillo plant, because it’s likely that soon, that dated piece of equipment will be upgraded with the needs of Arizona in mind.