Sempra Energy Working on 500 MW Solar Farm Near Phoenix, Arizona


Photo: Sempra Energy

Could be Built as Soon as 2012

Sempra Energy, who already owns a 10-megawatt PV solar farm near Boulder City, Nevada, and wants to expand it by 48 additional megawatts, has announced a new project that could dwarf those: The company is looking to build up to half a gigawatt of new solar capacity near Phoenix, Arizona. Sempra doesn't know yet if it's going to be solar PV or solar thermal, or a combination of both.


Photo: Sempra Energy

Would Produce Max Power on Hot Days When A/C Demand is Highest

The solar farm would be built on 4,000 acres of land that the company already controls. This would be near the 1,250-megawatt natural gas-fired Mesquite power plant. The benefit of this is that there are already sufficient transmission capacity (always an expensive part of any new project) and, according to the WSJ, "the solar farm will need only local development permits, which are generally easier and faster to get than state and federal land-use licenses."

Thanks to the existing transmission lines, the clean power generated by the solar farm could be sent to both the Arizonian and Californian markets.

Michael Allman, the president and chief executive of Sempra Energy's merchant generation unit, said that if his company can secure orders for 500 MW, the construction of the solar farm could happen as soon as 2012.

Via Wall Street Journal

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