SOLON Corporation, one of the largest providers of turnkey solar power plants in the U.S., will build a 10-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array near Kingman, Arizona, to provide affordable renewable power to customers of UniSource Energy Services (UES).
SOLON will provide the energy to UES through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that allows the utility to secure a stable energy resource while avoiding the system’s upfront costs. That energy will complement the output of a 1.22 MW UES-owned array that SOLON will also develop near Kingman’s La Senita Elementary School.
“Our partnerships with SOLON are helping us satisfy our renewable energy goals while contributing to the growth of Arizona’s green ecomony,” said Tom McKenna, Vice President of Engineering and UES for parent company UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “This PPA is part of a robust renewable energy portfolio designed to provide cost-effective renewable power for UES customers for decades to come.”
Powered by SOLON’s technology, including its single-axis tracking system, the 10 MW solar project will provide a faster, more cost-effective way for UES to integrate solar power into its renewable energy portfolio. Under the hosted PPA model, SOLON will finance, design, construct and maintain the system, with UES responsible only for purchasing the electricity that the system generates.
“SOLON designed its PPA model to offer utilities like UES an attractive, low risk investment,” said Dan Alcombright, Chief Executive Officer and President of North America for SOLON. “This flexible financing model enables UES to buy only the power produced by the system—that is clean solar power delivered directly to UES customers. It also helps the utility meet peak load requirements while lowering the responsibility and costs associated with operations and maintenance.”
The system will be located on approximately 60 acres of land near UES’ Black Mountain Generating Station that lies within the Mohave County Energy Overlay–Solar Photovoltaic Zone. SOLON secured permits for the project in less than three months, and is leading the engineering, procurement and construction services. Project construction will begin this fall, with the systems slated to be commissioned and in-service in first half of 2012. The system will create more than 200 local jobs for the construction of this project.
For this UES PPA project, SOLON is providing a comprehensive level of products, development and support. In total, the system will feature 60 of SOLON’s single-axis trackers, utilizing more than 40,000 utility solar modules. To help ensure the plant’s performance and efficiency, the company is also providing its own SCADA system, which enables remote control and monitoring.