APS has a long history of energy innovation that continues today with numerous projects that are setting standards for the rapidly transforming utility industry. These projects are enabling us to build a smarter energy infrastructure with reliable, cost-efficient integration of emerging technologies, both on the grid and at our customers’ homes and businesses. They also ensure that we will provide customers with more options than ever to power their homes and businesses while maintaining reliability and increasing productivity.
To illustrate the kind of progress we have made, consider this: Just a decade ago, there were less than 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power on the APS system. Today we have more than 1,000 MW of installed solar capacity, including more than 200 MW owned by APS. And solar is just one of many distributed energy resources (DER) that is expected to grow for the foreseeable future. Other DERs include smart thermostats, grid-interactive electric water heaters, energy storage, load controllers, and variable speed, multi-stage heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
As an industry leader, APS is engaged in studying and developing emerging resources that can generate power or mitigate the effects of over-generation or under-generation on our distribution system. We are evaluating how these resources work together and impact not only service but also customer behavior with projects such as our Solar Partner Program and Solar Innovation Study. Running these projects concurrently is increasing our knowledge and providing invaluable data about how emerging technologies can enhance customer control and choice while helping us build a more advanced grid.