Suntech and Zachry selected for first phase of 700 MW solar project

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In total, the Mesquite Solar energy complex is set to reach 700 MW. Sunpower and Zachry are expected to begin work on its first 150 MW phase in mid-2011, with completion scheduled for 2013. The solar facility will reportedly create over 200 local jobs for construction and installation, and is projected to generate more than 350,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Engineering, procurement and construction provider Zachry will oversee the installation and integration of the project, while more than 800,000 Suntech multi-crystalline solar panels are expected to be used. The plant will be constructed about 30 miles west of Suntech’s Goodyear manufacturing facility, which will supply a portion of the panels for the Sempra Generation project. In addition, the company’s technical team will support the execution of the project.

The renewable electricity generated at Mesquite Solar 1 will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 150 MW (AC), 20-year power purchase agreement, pending California Public Utilities Commission approval.

Steve Dedman, senior vice president of Zachry Holdings, Inc. commented: "When completed this will be one of the largest solar plants in the world. Our participation in this very significant project signals Zachry’s commitment to the solar market, and specifically utility-scale solar generation."

"Large, multi-phase solar projects like the 700 MW Mesquite Solar energy complex are at the heart of our renewable strategy," added Jeffrey W. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation. "That’s why this first 150 MW phase is so important, and why we are pleased to partner with Suntech and Zachry as we begin developing this world-class solar complex."

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