Conservationists question SRP's move to hike rates, build gas-fired turbines

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 4:12pm

Salt River Project’s governing board approved a rate increase and a couple of additional gas turbines Monday, but conservationists are questioning those moves.

SRP says the rate hike is necessary because of rising fuel costs.

The utility is also concerned that the Valley’s growing population will make it difficult to commit to renewable energy and hopes the gas turbines will help meet future demand.

Although solar eliminates fuel costs, much of that power goes away when the sun goes down.

Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club said there are ways around that problem.

“We think that SRP should be focusing on renewable energy with storage, and energy efficiency rather than continuing to build more and more gas plants,” Bahr said.

She said energy efficiency can help reduce spikes in the early evening hours when air conditioners in the Valley are still running.

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