This week, the Salt River Project's (SRP) Board of Directors voted to increase the utility's goal for sustainable energy resources to 20% of all retail sales by the year 2020. SRP's previous goal, set in 2006, was 15% of retail sales by 2025. SRP defines "sustainable resources" to include hydro power and energy efficiency measures along with more commonly recognized renewable resources such as solar and wind. Read more here.

Regulated utilities in Arizona, such as Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP), are required by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to generate 15% of their retail sales from renewable resources by 2025 and to separately reduce energy consumption by 22% by 2020 through energy efficiency measures. As a quasi-governmental entity, SRP is regulated by the State Legislature, not the ACC.

At a special meeting of SRP's Board of Directors on April 18, management proposed to increase SRP's sustainable energy goal to 18% by 2020, with an "aspiration" of reaching 20% by 2020. At that meeting, many renewable energy advocates encouraged SRP to match the ACC's requirements while several large commercial customers encouraged SRP to maintain its focus on prices by not increasing its goal too quickly. Through the public input process leading up to the Board's decision, SRP found broad public support for pursuing low carbon resource options.

Just a few days after the Board's decision, SRP announced that it had entered into an agreement to buy 100% of the energy produced by the 100MW Yavapai Wind Project, currently under construction near Seligman.