Salt River Project sets sights on expanding natural gas plant south of Phoenix

Sep 2, 2021, 4:05 AM
(Salt River Project Photo)...
(Salt River Project Photo)
(Salt River Project Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona public utility Salt River Project said a planned expansion of its generating station south of metro Phoenix will help meet power demand during peak usage.

The company needs approval from its board to add 16 natural gas turbines at the Coolidge Generating Station, about 50 miles from the Valley.

Construction at the quick-start natural gas-powered station is expected to begin in early 2023, SRP said in an FAQ on the project. Eight units should be online by summer 2024 and the other half by summer 2025, the company said.

“Expanding our Coolidge Generating Station is a critical step in creating a reliability backbone for SRP customers,” CEO Mike Hummel said in a recent press release.

“The added rapid-start capacity at Coolidge will keep the lights on during times of peak electricity demand in the Valley and help support the variable output from SRP’s growing portfolio of renewable resources.”

The turbines are capable of ramping up completely – 820 megawatts – within 10 minutes, churning out enough energy to power about 150,000 homes during peak times, SRP said.

The power company, which bought the station from TransCanada in 2019, already owns the Pinal County land where the turbines will be built.

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Salt River Project sets sights on expanding natural gas plant south of Phoenix