Gehrlicher Solar America completes first stage of of 7.2 MW Arizona plant

Gehrlicher Solar America Corp. announced last week that it had finished construction of the first phase of a 7.2 MWp solar park for UniSource Energy Service (UES) in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Gehrlicher, which was recently acquired by the U.S. division of Germany-based engineering giant M+W Group, has boasted a strong performance in the United States despite the financial troubles of its former German parent, Gehrlicher Solar AG, which filed for insolvency in July.

The UES project’s phase 1 is 4 MW solar array. Phase 2 will be completed in December 2013 and commissioned in January 2014.

When fully operational, the ground-mounted system will supply power to about 91,000 UES customers in Mohave and Santa Cruz counties, producing 13,110,680 kilowatt hours of clean solar power annually.

Employing a proprietary Gehrlicher Engineered Solution set, the company is responsible for the design, engineering and construction of the solar project, located on 37.5 acres (15.2 hectares). The company said its engineered solution "assures long-term power yield providing an optimized, individualized solution for the specific location while making efficient and low cost use of the technology components."

The UES-owned Rio Rico generation facility consists of 24,400 fixed-tilt solar modules and four inverters. Gehrlicher chose Southwest Energy Solutions to perform the electrical portion of the work on the system.

UES is a subsidiary of Tucson-based UniSource Energy Corporation, which is also the parent company of Tucson Electric Power (TEP).

"The Rio Rico solar energy project is an important component in our company’s strategy to provide UES customers with clean, affordable renewable energy," said Carmine Tilghman, director of Wholesale & Renewable Energy at UNS Energy and TEP. "Our development partner, Gehrlicher Solar America, has been outstanding. Their proven and experienced staff has handled every aspect of this project with exceptional professionalism, providing a cost-effective and reliable solution. Phase 1 of the project was completed on time and on budget and we look forward to completion of Phase 2 of this high value generation asset for our customers."

Jerry Shinn, Gehrlicher Solar America’s former chief operating officer and recently appointed company president, said, "This solar project demonstrates our commitment to providing high performance and cost effective PV solutions to our utility customers who are striving to diversify their generation portfolio with cost effective and reliable renewable energy. We look forward to the completion of Phase 2 of this project which builds on our growing list of repeat utility customers across the Americas."