SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., and Arizona Public Service Co. announced construction of a utility-scale photovoltaic solar power plant located two miles north of the Prescott Regional Airport. SunEdison will own and operate the plant with APS purchasing the entire output. APS estimates the 10-megawatt facility can provide enough power to meet the annual energy needs of 2,500 Arizona customers.
The announcement event, held at the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, spotlighted the new solar deployment, which is anticipated to become active in the fall of 2011. The plant is expected to generate more than 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy in its first year of operation alone and approximately 653 million kWh over 30 years.
“APS’s investments in renewable energy – well-diversified by technology, ownership, size and location – are forging a sustainable energy future for Arizona,” said Don Robinson, APS president and chief operating officer. “With five solar facilities operating or under construction, Prescott is becoming an important hub for solar development. It is an ideal location because of its abundant sunshine, cooler weather, available land and access to the transmission system.”
APS’s decade-long history of solar in Prescott includes a 194-kilowatt system at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (completed in 2001), a small system on the roof of Prescott College (completed in 2004) and a 3.6-megawatt plant near the Prescott Regional Airport (completed in 2006).
Earlier this month, APS and SunEdison announced plans for two other Arizona solar plants, a 20-megawatt facility in Chino Valley – another Prescott-area solar plant – and a 17-megawatt facility in Hyder. Those plants also will be developed by SunEdison. However, instead of purchasing the power, APS will own the facilities after construction is completed. With these two solar plants plus today’s announcement, APS’s renewable portfolio totals approximately 851 megawatts, of which 282 is in operation and serving customers.
“SunEdison offers smart, cost effective, solar solutions that utilities have come to expect and trust,” said Carlos Domenech, president of SunEdison. “We have a global demonstrated utility track record and welcome the opportunity to partner with a progressive utility like APS.”
Since 2004, SunEdison has deployed close to 100 megawatts of utility-scale solar including the recently activated 70-megawatt solar power plant in Rovigo, Italy.