Arizona Public Service’s (APS) AZ Sun Program is seeing progression as the company announced the completion of two 17MW solar power plants in Gila Bend, Arizona. The Paloma Solar Power Plant, which was developed with the help of First Solar, is the first site to reach commercial operation under the AZ Sun Program while the Cotton Center Solar Plant entered commercial operation shortly after.
The AZ Sun Program is APS’ initiative to invest in 100MW of turnkey, utility-scale solar PV plants across Arizona. For the Paloma Solar plant, First Solar, like other third-party developers in the AZ Sun Program, developed and constructed the solar plant, which APS will own and operate.
“Solar energy is a critical part of our planning to meet the energy needs of APS customers. Our customers embrace solar power, just as we do. That’s why we are so proud of the Paloma facility and our AZ Sun program – we are developing large solar plants that take the amount of solar we provide to customers to a new level,” said Don Robinson, APS president and COO. “We are also generating more than power from our solar development efforts – we’re creating jobs.”
The Paloma solar project utilizes 275,000 thin-film First Solar PV panels mounted on fixed-tilt steel supports. This is APS’ first venture into thin-film technology for one of its solar plants and marks the first time the company has worked with First Solar.