Mackenzie Rodgers, APS Northern Arizona Division Director, says Arizona Public Service is committed to generating, transmitting and distributing energy to more than 1.3 million customers — residential, commercial, governmental and others — in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties.
The utility faces such major challenges as climate change and severe weather, fewer coal-fired power plants, increasing costs of oil and gas used by some power plants, aging power grids with more maintenance needs and external threats of cybersecurity interference with electric transmission.
Add in the potential for transmission interruption because of wildfires or the possibility that hydro turbines at Lake Powell and Lake Mead cannot produce power and the challenges are great.
“We are the only major electric service provider in Northern Arizona,” said the Prescott-based Rodgers. “APS is Arizona born and has been in business for over 135 years. APS grew out of what was the home of Northern Arizona Power and merged with Central Arizona Power and Light Company in Prescott. That became APS as we know it today. APS has deep roots in Prescott and the territorial capital.”
Rodgers said, “Sustainable energy is a key concept with APS. We intend to meet our customers’ energy needs for another 135 years — and beyond — in ways that diminish our environmental impact. The best way to do that? Reduce the net carbon output of power production and instead focus on generating 100% clean and carbon-free energy by 2050.”
She added, “APS and our peer companies are aware of threats of cyber-attacks. That’s we partner with the government through industry partnerships to provide maximum security.”
She said the near-term goal is ending all coal-fired energy by 2031: “That’s seven years sooner than we had previously projected.”
Currently, clean energy is being created with solar, wind and nuclear, she said: “Palo Verde Generating Station, the country’s largest nuclear plant, is owned by APS. Most people don’t know that Palo Verde is the nation’s largest producer of energy and is totally clean and carbon-free.”
Palo Verde is the largest commercial taxpayer in Arizona, with an annual economic impact of more than $2 billion.
USE LESS ELECTRICITY
“We’re one of the only businesses that encourages you to use less of the company’s product,” Rodgers said. “We do this several ways. We use rate incentives to encourage reduced energy use when demand is high. We constantly urge energy-efficient programs and appliances.”
She continued, “Our goal through the APS Clean Energy Commitment is to maintain high reliability at affordable prices.”
Many people are not aware, she said, of the heavy regulations imposed by the Department of Energy, the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). APS doesn’t independently set its rates.
Additional information about APS can be found at www.aps.com/brighter.