At an event on December 21 in Cochise County, Arizona, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) and SunPower are dedicating a 20MWac solar photovoltaic power plant that is now generating clean, renewable solar power for customers in SSVEC's service territory.
SSVEC will purchase the power generated by the solar plant under a 20-year power purchase agreement with SunPower. SSVEC is retaining the renewable energy credits associated with the solar plant.
"This SunPower solar power plant supports SSVEC's commitment to our community's economic vitality and a sustainable quality of life, and is expected to help us achieve over 100 percent of our 2025 renewable energy goal, as established by the Arizona Corporation Commission," said SSVEC Chief Executive Officer Creden Huber. "SunPower brings a complete solution to solar power plant development and operation that is proven to maximize energy delivery over the long term, optimizing the cost-effective, emission-free solar power that SSVEC provides its customers."
The plant is anticipated to generate enough electricity to serve the needs of approximately 2,800 average Arizona homes over the next 20 years, based on estimates provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association.
"Today, power generated from solar power plants is cost-competitive with power from traditional, fossil fuel burning plants," said SunPower Senior Vice President Ty Daul. "SunPower commends SSVEC for its leadership in promoting solar power development, and utilizing innovative technology solutions to take full advantage of Arizona's abundant solar resource."
SunPower designed and built a SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant system at the site. The Oasis platform is SunPower's fully integrated, modular solar power block solution for utility-scale solar projects that is designed to optimize land use and is engineered for rapid, cost-effective installation.
The plant includes half a megawatt of the newest generation of the SunPower Oasis platform, just launched in September. Improvements in the Oasis platform design to optimize every system component for seamless operation generate 34 percent more energy density than conventional solar technology over 25 years.
During its six-month construction phase, the project created approximately 120 jobs.
(Photo: SunPower's 70MW Salvador PV Project in Chile. Source: SunPower)