Our commitment to air quality
Protecting Arizona's natural resources, from our vital water supplies to the air we breathe, is at the heart of SRP's mission.
We are continually exploring and implementing new approaches, technology, customer programs and establishing partnerships aimed at improving the air quality in Phoenix.
Customer and community programs
Being responsible environmental stewards means thinking beyond reducing emissions at our power plants. We have developed a number of programs for our customers and the community that further support these efforts.
- Fewer gas cars on the road reduces carbon dioxide emissions. SRP Drive Electric provides customers with information about types of electric vehicles, a savings calculator and special offers.
- Businesses can tap into the benefits of electric equipment, like forklifts, by taking advantage of rebate programs.
- Teachers can learn from our experts about the future of the energy industry.
- By contributing to the Trees for Change program, customers have helped plant 1.2 million trees in Arizona's national forests.
Collaboration and research
Air quality regulation and policy is dynamic and SRP is engaged in many forums to stay up to date on changes that may affect our operations. We also work regularly with local, state, federal and tribal officials on air quality implementation and compliance issues.
SRP is strongly committed to the development of new technologies aimed at reducing emissions. We have partnered for many years with Arizona universities, the Electric Power Research Institute , the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership , and other institutions to support research and development activities.
From day one, SRP has produced zero-emissions power by adding hydroelectric generating stations to our dams. As the energy needs of the Phoenix Valley have grown, we have taken a measured approach to developing our energy generation portfolio to include renewable sources.
Currently, our renewable energy portfolio includes biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and geothermal. In addition, we have set sustainability targets for 2020 and 2035 that employ a variety of strategies that contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions. This approach contributes to our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to mitigate the impact of climate change while supporting our customers clean energy goals.
We've also launched a variety of projects to better understand how to incorporate utility scale energy storage systems into the grid. These storage systems could potentially be charged using low-cost or renewable energy then used during peak demand hours, which usually occur later in the day. The following projects are in progress as of 2018.
- A 10-MW standalone utility scale battery was installed at a substation to begin to figure out the effectiveness of using stored energy during peak demand hours. This could reduce the use of gas power plants, which are more expansive to run.
- The residential battery storage study will evaluate the performance of residential battery storage installations, up to 4,500 devices, through a customer incentive program. Batteries, when paired with rooftop solar, allows solar energy to be used during the evening hours.
- In Jan. 2018 the first sustainable sub-zero industrial freezer was installed at Basha's distribution center in the Phoenix metro area. The new technology has the potential to reduce energy use and provide cost savings for customers with industrial freezers. The project was a result of a partnership between SRP, Viking Cold Solutions and Bashas’ Family of Stores.
SRP's air quality compliance strategy focuses on technically sound and environmentally beneficial ways to meet the stringent emission requirements associated with power generation. We have invested more than $1 billion in emissions controls, equipping our generating stations with a wide range of air pollution control equipment. Since 1995, those controls have reduced sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions intensity by 80%.
We have also:
- Invested more than $500 million to upgrade air pollution equipment at Coronado Generating Station.
- Reduced the use of mechanical parts cleaning products that generate hazardous waste and have the potential to release toxic air emissions.
- Decreased fugitive dust emissions during construction and maintenance activities in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
- Controlled many of our gas and oil units for nitrogen oxides for the benefit of air quality. Clean-burning natural gas is the primary fuel in these units and low-sulfur fuel oil is available for emergency operating situations.
Reducing emissions doesn't stop at our power facilities. We are continually looking for ways to change our daily operations to support clean air and a healthy environment.
Building an eco-friendly headquarters
The renovation of our headquarters in Phoenix provided us with an opportunity to incorporate eco-friendly construction methods, which have resulted in:
- 9,600 tons of carbon reduction emissions, equal to taking 1,700 cars off the road for one year
- 93 tons of greenhouse gas reduction with recycled carpet
- 34% recycled material contained in new furniture
- 60% estimated building energy reduction
- High-tech, high-impact measures: light harvesting, heating and cooling systems that maximize energy efficiency and lessen long-term maintenance, low-flow plumbing fixtures, low-water-use landscaping
- Targeting LEED Gold certification for the renovated building
On the road
Whether an employee is commuting to work or using a fleet vehicle on the job, moving toward the use of electric vehicles (EVs) benefits air quality. More than 60% of SRP’s sedan fleet has been converted from gasoline to plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles as of April 2018.
In 2017, SRP's workplace charging program for employees was confirmed as the largest in Arizona with:
- 147 charging stations at 18 SRP facilities, 71 of which are reserved for employees
- Ninety-six employees commuting in an EV; those that used workplace charging logged over 1 million miles
- Collectively, SRP employees who use workplace charging have saved more than 250,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and 25,000 gallons of gasoline
We've also implemented programs for our employees that reduce the number of trips to work, encourage alternative modes of transportation such as carpooling and participate in Maricopa County Clean Air Challenges.