sPower has broken ground on the 45MW Sandstone Solar project in Florence, Arizona. The facility is schedule to be completed and commence operation by the end of 2015, while a 21-year power purchase agreement has been secured between sPower and Salt River Project (SRP).
sPower awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to Swinerton Renewable Energy, who will install more than 182,000 Jinko Solar PV modules mounted on a tracking system that follows the sun, allowing the panels to more efficiently capture energy as the sun tracks across the Arizona sky. When fully operational, the Sandstone Solar facility will produce enough green power to reliably supply more than 8,000 homes and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 88,800 metric tons annually – the equivalent of removing nearly 19,000 cars from the road each year or reducing CO2 emissions from 206,500 barrels of oil consumed.
“The Sandstone Solar facility illustrates another great way to develop new renewable-energy opportunities,” said Congressman Paul Gosar, who represents the Arizona district where the facility is being built. “The fact that solar power is becoming economical when compared to traditional energy sources means we can achieve our national goal of affordable energy independence and diverse power supplies all with less environmental impact.”
The Sandstone project successfully secured required permits and approvals from the Town of Florence and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA), greenlighting construction to commence.
SRP is the third-largest public power utility in the US that serves about one million electric customers. The SRP Board has set a goal to meet 20% of its retail electricity requirement through sustainable resources by 2020. Currently, the ratio is 12%.