Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials announced that an aquifer protection permit has been issued to Arizona Solar One LLC to operate Solana Concentrating solar Power near Gila Bend, which is expected to be Arizona’s largest solar electric generating station.
The 280-megawatt power plant is expected to begin operation later this year with a projected life of more than 30 years. About 1,700 jobs are expected to be added during the solar generating station’s construction and the plant plans to use 85 full-time employees working in two shifts during the peak operating months.
“The Solana Generating Station is an excellent example of greening and growing Arizona’s economy,” said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. “It will add hundreds of much needed jobs in a rural area while, at the same time, giving a major boost to the development of renewable energy in the state.”
“This will be the first utility-scale concentrated solar power plant to operate in Arizona,” said Leisa Brug, energy policy advisor to Governor Jan Brewer. “What’s interesting about this project is that it offers a six-hour thermal storage option that extends electrical generation through peak load. In its 30-year lifespan, that aspect may play a key role in Arizona’s energy future.”
The generating station will concentrate solar power through parabolic mirrors and raise the temperature of a heat transfer fluid. The fluid will produce steam in solar steam generators connected to a steam turbine generator to produce electrical power. Arizona Public Service has agreed to buy all of the electricity generated at Solana and the station will generate enough electricity to serve 70,000 customers when operating at full capacity.
Solana will be APS’ largest source of renewable energy. APS expects the plant to be fully operational in 2013. It is estimated that Solana will bring about $1 billion of investment to the state of Arizona.
Contact: Mark Shaffer, Director of Communications, 602/771-2215, 480/433-9551