The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved NextEra’s proposal to build a 300MW PV system on public land in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The Sonoran Solar Energy Project will be comprised of 150 2MW alternating current arrays, spanning just over 2,000 acres and located in close proximity to a number of existing transmission lines. NextEra will pay the DOI nearly US$2 million a year in land rental and other fees.

Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, announced the decision on Thursday; Sonoran is the 25th renewable energy project that the DOI has permitted to be built on public land, and the first in Arizona.

Before NextEra can start work on the arrays, it must first secure a long-term power purchase agreement for the electricity produced by the Little Rainbow Valley site.