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SRP Board Approves $330 Million Expenditure

Salt River Project’s Board of Directors has approved the purchase of natural gas units near Gila Bend.

The $330 million purchase covered two generating units that have been in place since 2003 under various owners.

Tom Cooper is the director of resource planning and development for SRP. He said the units are capable of creating 1,100 megawatts of power. “This is modern, combined-cycle natural gas generation. We’re buying that to meet our customer demand," Cooper said.

Cooper could not speculate on any potential near-term rate increases, but he did say the purchase was much cheaper than the alternative.

"Overall, this should represent a cost savings to our customers, relative to our other alternative, which would have been to build new natural gas generation. This is going to be roughly one-third the cost of a new build," Cooper said.

He said that despite the age of the units, they still employ modern technology and are economically competitive in today’s power markets.   

Tom Maxedon is the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition on Saturday and Sunday from 6-10 a.m. and All Things Considered on Monday from 3-6 p.m.