Gila Bend Leads the Way in Utility Scale Solar Development
APS Announces Latest AZ Sun Photovoltaic Project
April 4, 2013
PHOENIX – Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) has selected Black & Veatch to design and build a new solar photovoltaic facility – the 32-megawatt Gila Bend Solar Power Plant, part of the APS AZ Sun Program.
Construction will begin in October 2013 with project completion expected in June 2014. The nine-month project will bring more than 150 jobs to Arizona.
“The Gila Bend Plant is just one more example of APS’s commitment to solar energy. APS-owned, utility-scale solar is good for customers, the solar industry and the state of Arizona,” said Barbara Lockwood, APS General Manager of Energy Innovation. “The Gila Bend Plant, just like all of our solar facilities, is being built by a third-party solar developer. Black & Veatch was selected through a competitive bidding process, helping to ensure a cost-effective price for our customers. In addition, this project is bringing significant economic benefits to Arizona, including high-quality jobs.”
Located on 400 acres in Gila Bend, Ariz., the project will have more than 170,000 single-axis tracker polycrystalline modules that will generate enough solar energy to power 8,000 Arizona homes and businesses. The single-axis tracker design enables the solar panels to follow the sun across the sky.
“APS is a leader in solar development in Arizona – providing opportunities for solar developers and installers, creating valuable jobs for the industry and helping to create a sustainable energy future for their customers,” said Dean Oskvig, President and CEO, B&V Energy, Black & Veatch. “Black & Veatch has been involved in nearly half the utility-scale photovoltaic plants currently operating in North America. We will bring this expertise to what will be the second largest plant under the AZ Sun program to date.”
The Gila Bend Plant will be the seventh AZ Sun facility to break ground. With AZ Sun, APS is investing in the development of photovoltaic power plants across the state. APS currently has 86 MW of AZ Sun in service, along with 64 MW under construction or in development. AZ Sun is one piece of APS’s diverse solar portfolio, which includes third-party owned power purchase agreements, utility-scale APS owned facilities and customer-owned rooftop installations.
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).
17-Megawatt AZ Sun Project Will Come Online Later This Year
Paloma is one of five solar plants currently under development in APS’s AZ Sun program. Through the program, APS will finance and own 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power plants in Arizona. Upon completion, the program is expected to have at least six plants, which will be designed and constructed by third-party solar developers, contractors and equipment providers. With Paloma, the AZ Sun Program now has commitments for 83 megawatts of solar capacity. The entire program is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
“Through the AZ Sun program, we have been able to move quickly to begin building new solar power plants to complement our other generating resources. We expect these plants to provide clean, reliable energy to our customers for at least the next 30 years,” said Don Robinson, APS president and chief operating officer.
With Paloma, APS’s total renewable energy portfolio is 875 megawatts, counting projects online and in development. Of that total, 288 megawatts are in service today, providing enough electricity to meet the needs of 72,000 Arizona homes. Complete details on current and future APS renewable projects are available online at aps.com/remap.
The Paloma plant will be built on the site of a former alfalfa farm. The facility will use 300,000 thin-film photovoltaic panels mounted on fixed-tilt steel frames. It is the first time thin-film panels will be used for an APS solar plant.
“First Solar is pleased to be working with APS, a leader in green energy,” said Jim Lamon, First Solar senior vice president of engineering, procurement and construction. “Our advanced thin-film technology and our systems engineering and construction expertise will help APS turn Arizona’s vast solar resource into clean, renewable energy.”
Paloma and Cotton Center, APS’s other AZ Sun photovoltaic project in Gila Bend, will be located less than a mile apart.
“In collaboration with APS, the Town of Gila Bend is continuing to demonstrate its national leadership in promoting, locating and fast-tracking utility scale solar,” said Ron Henry, mayor of Gila Bend. “The Paloma plant represents another major solar energy investment APS has made in our community. We appreciate this continuing partnership, and we are proud to foster the development of solar energy.”
Gila Bend is also home to Solana, a concentrating solar plant being built by Abengoa Solar. APS has a contract to purchase all of Solana’s generation beginning in 2013.
APS, Arizona's largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state's 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).
APS CONTINUES TO BRING MORE SOLAR TO ARIZONA New 18-Megawatt Plant to be Located in Gila Bend’s New Solar Zone
PHOENIX – Arizona Public Service Company’s drive to develop more solar energy took another step forward today with the announcement of an 18-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant to be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix in Gila Bend.
The plant will be owned by APS and sited in the town’s new Solar Overlay Zone. The municipality has designated a geographic area as a fast-track permitting district for new solar photovoltaic projects. Permitting in this area will take less than three months, instead ofthe typical one to two years. By locating the new project within the boundaries of the Solar Zone, construction can begin in early 2011 with a completion date in November 2011.
APS has selected SOLON Corporation, a subsidiary of SOLON SE, as the project developer. SOLON Corporation’s North American headquarters, which includes a manufacturing facility, is located in Tucson. “This project enables APS to continue building its renewable energy portfolio and helps us develop Arizona’s vast solar resources,” said APS President and Chief Operating Officer Don Robinson. “Our customers will benefit for years to come from this partnership between APS, SOLON and Gila Bend.”
The plant will sit on 145 acres currently used for agriculture. The 75,000 solar panels needed to transform sunlight into electricity will be arranged in 1,566 rows connected to 108 single-axis trackers. This design enables the solar panels to follow the sun across the sky, making the plant more efficient than static-mounted panels typically seen on rooftops. On sunny days, the project is expected to produce enough energy to meet the needs of 4,500 residential customers.
President Obama gives the go-ahead for one of the world’s largest concentratingsolar power projects.
Abengoa's 280 megawatt Solana Concentrated Solar Power Project (CSP) is now backed by the $1.45 billion loan guarantee in sunny Gila Bend, Arizona.
Abengoa Solar’s Arizona Vice President Kate Maracas stated in the press release that “the building of Solana will also create between 1,600 to 1,700 new construction jobs, and operation of the plant will add another 85 permanent jobs. These construction and operating jobs will create a few thousand additional indirect jobs. Taken together,98 percent of the jobs created by Solana will be American jobs -- primarily from Arizona, and a smaller portion from neighboring states.”
Greentech Media's CSP analyst, Brett Prior, commented: "The Solana project is estimated to cost almost $1 billion, and this loan guarantee will ensure that the project moves forward.
Town of Gila Bend - 644 West Pima Street - P.O. Box A - Gila Bend, AZ 85337
Tel: 928-683-2255 - Fax: 928-683-6430