Apache GT5 & GT6 Generation Project, DOE/EA-2238


The Apache GT5 & GT6 Generation Project (Project) is proposed by the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO), a rural member-owned generation and transmission electric cooperative formed in 1961 to provide electric generation service to local rural, member-owned electric distribution cooperatives in Arizona, western New Mexico, and California. On August 1, 2023, AEPCO submitted an Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) to the Arizona Corporation Commission. To meet projected load growth requirements and capacity shortfalls identified in AEPCO’s 2023 IRP, AEPCO is proposing to construct an additional 84-megawatt (MW) simple-cycle natural gas-fired turbine (SCGT) power plant and associated equipment at the existing Apache Generating Station (AGS) located south of the unincorporated community of Cochise, Arizona in Cochise County. The AGS began operation in 1963 and currently operates three steam and four gas turbine units to generate a combined 625 MW of power.

AEPCO is requesting financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) Electric Loan Program to procure and install the two aero-derivative General Electric LM6000 SCGTs on an approximately 7.65-acre site within AGS. The turbines and associated equipment would be installed on an approximately 2-acre area of the existing AGS property and on approximately 2 acres of land owned by WAPA.

As part of the Project to construct the two new generators at AGS, GT5 and GT6, AEPCO requested that WAPA relocate an approximately 0.25-mile segment of the Tucson-Apache 115-kV transmission line that currently exists on site to accommodate the locations of the SCGTs and associated equipment. The Project would also require that WAPA update AEPCO’s existing license outgrant to allow the expansion of the AGS supporting infrastructure on WAPA-owned property.

RUS and WAPA are currently preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze environmental impacts of the Project. RUS is the lead Federal agency and WAPA is a cooperating agency.


RUS and WAPA completed scoping activities on the proposed Project upon the closure of the scoping comment period on March 27, 2023. Substantive comments submitted during the scoping comment period are being used to help guide the environmental review process and development of the Draft EA. The next step in the NEPA process is the release of the Draft EA which is expected by late summer 2024. There will be a public comment period associated with the release of the Draft EA.


For questions about the environmental review process please contact:

Becky Hopkins, Environmental Project Manager
Civil Design & Engineering (CD&E) on contract to
Western Area Power Administration, Desert Southwest Region
Phone: 470-922-1736
Email: rhopkins@wapa.gov

For technical questions regarding the project’s design and schedule, please contact:

Kalani Ellis, Project Manager
Western Area Power Administration, DSW
Phone: (602) 605-2451
Email: kellis@wapa.gov​​


  • Project Map
  • Draft Environmental Assessment (anticipated late summer 2024)