US: APS and SunEdison to install 37 MWs of PV in Arizona

Construction on the first project – the 17 MW Hyder solar plant – is scheduled to begin next June, with an in-service date expected in the fourth quarter of the year. Meanwhile, work on the second plant, set to be located in Chino Valley, should start in the first quarter of 2012, with completion expected in the fourth quarter of the same year. Both facilities will use polycrystalline PV panels mounted on single-axis tracking systems.

The projects are part of APS’s AZ Sun program, which aims to invest up to USD$500 million for 100 MWs of turn-key PV power plants across the state, using a procurement model where a third party builds the solar plant. As such, the plants will be developed by SunEdison, with APS taking ownership upon completion.

“These two solar projects will further increase the resource and geographic diversity of our energy supply, and under the AZ Sun program they will also provide ownership diversity,” said Don Robinson, APS president and chief operating officer. “By adding layers of diversity to our energy supply, we are reducing our fuel cost risk and increasing energy security for our customers. We also are providing another substantial boost to Arizona’s growing renewable energy industry.”

In 2010 the Arizona Corporation Commission approved the AZ Sun program. APS’s other two AZ Sun projects, a 15 MW installation at Luke Air Force Base and an 18 MW project in Gila Bend, are both scheduled to come online next year. Added to the company’s two projects announced yesterday, the program currently has 70 MWs in development.