British consultancy, engineering and project management firm AMEC has been awarded 250MW of solar projects near Las Vegas by renewable energy and natural gas company Sempra US Gas and Power (Sempra).
AMEC has been contracted for design and construction work on Copper Mountain Solar 3, the third expansion phase of the Copper Mountain Solar complex. Sempra began the first phases of construction in March. The project spans 567 hectares and is in Boulder City, Nevada which enjoys high solar irradiance from the intense desert sun. The 250MW station will produce enough electricity to power around 800,000 homes. Construction of the plant is expected to provide around 300 jobs and positions for 12 staff to operate the plant once it is opened.
Copper Mountain Solar is located near existing power lines, allowing for savings on infrastructure costs. Power from the Copper Mountain Solar 3 facility is being marketed to utility providers in the south west of the US. The 58MW Copper Mountain Solar 1 was completed in December 2010, with electricity from it and the Copper Mountain Solar 2 currently being sold to Pacific Gas and Electric. Copper Mountain Solar 2 has a total capacity of 150MW, with 92MW finished in 2013 and the remaining 28MW expected to be completed in 2015.
The announcement came as AMEC released its financial results for the first half of 2013. Company revenue fell during the period, with falling demand in the mining sector cited as the reason. According to the company this meant trading was in line with expectations. Sales fell from £2.02 billion (US$3.13 billion) to £1.99 billion (US$3.09 billion) and pre-tax profit fell from £120 million (US$186 million) to £117 million (US$181 million).
Announcing financial results, AMEC claimed the company was still on course to achieve a previously set target – that value of earnings per share would be greater than £1 (US$1.55) in 2015. In fact the company brought the target forward, claiming the above £1 share value would be achieved by 2014 instead. AMEC chief executive Samir Brikho claimed the ongoing effects of restructuring the company along geographical lines – a process which began in 2012 – and continuing to seek opportunities in broader energy markets would help greatly toward achieving this target.
At the end of July, AMEC was also awarded an EPC contract for three solar PV plants by Dominion Resources in Indiana, USA.